Volunteer Appreciation Week: The Positive Impact of Volunteering
This week, it’s all about our volunteers.
This Volunteer Appreciation Week, Theta headquarters staff wants you know that you are valuable to our organization. Whether you are a member of the workforce, on a committee, lead an alumnae chapter, or serve on an advisory board for a college chapter, the work you do matters. Each strategic, challenging, or uplifting conversation you have with a member moves our organization forward, and we will be forever grateful that you choose to spend time contributing to the future of Theta.
We can often see and measure the impact that our volunteers make on Theta, but this week I invite you to reflect on the positive impact your volunteer role has on you. Volunteers tend to serve selflessly and may even think or say, “It’s not about me.” Consider this permission to think about yourself and your own experience for a moment.
I recently came across the article “How Volunteering Improves Mental Health” (National Alliance on Mental Illness). As I read it, I realized that along with the positive impact our volunteerism brings to Theta, Theta’s volunteer experience may be helping you, as well! Let’s be honest, after the couple of years we have faced, we could all use a boost from something that makes us feel good! I wanted to share the article’s findings in case any of them resonate with you.
- Reducing Stress. At some point, you may have felt spread too thin in your life, your schedule too packed for that volunteer call or to attend that meeting. Once you did the thing, weren’t you glad you were there? There is something energizing about making a difference and knowing your presence made an impact. Your involvement may even be a welcome distraction from stressors that started your day. Knowing you are a part of something bigger than yourself may help shift your focus and put you back in a positive headspace.
- Increasing Happiness. Something I hear often in my role is how much the relationships formed with other Thetas have brought joy. Especially now, many of us are craving human connection. Volunteering can introduce us to new people we would have never met otherwise and can strengthen relationships we’ve had for years. For myself, when I feel connected to others with whom I can be myself, nothing makes me happier.
- Developing Confidence. Have you ever felt intimidated by a conversation, task, or presentation asked of you while in a volunteer role for Theta? Once you tackled it, didn’t you feel on top of the world, like you can do anything? As women, we oftentimes sell ourselves short. However, when we know our sisters are supporting us, we’re able to face our challenges head on. Volunteering for Theta also gives you experiences and strengthens skills that you can bring into other organizations for which you might serve, in addition to your work environment.
- Finding Purpose. The reason I hear most often for why our alumnae volunteer for Theta is to give back and make a difference. There is nothing like feeling that your work is valuable and that you’re meeting a need that exists. Our time is precious, and volunteering often plugs us into opportunities to channel our passions into something in which we believe. Whether your purpose is to help grow Theta, help our organization be more culturally competent, or help our college members learn in their officer roles, you are adding immense value.
Do any of these benefits resonate with you? What other benefits do you gain from volunteering for Theta? No matter what your reason for volunteering, we are so glad you do. We want you to know how appreciated you are not only this week, but year-round.