December 8, 2023

It is easy to agree that volunteers make the world a better place. They offer help to those in need, contribute to special causes and do so much for the community. But most people do not often discuss why you, personally, should volunteer.

Scientifically speaking, volunteering can actually help reduce stress and keep people mentally stimulated. A Harvard Business School study confirmed that “happier people give more and giving makes people happier, such that happiness and giving may operate in a positive feedback loop.” 

But most students and young people do not volunteer, and with busy schedules that include balancing work, classes and social life, it can be hard to find the time for much else.

Volunteering, however, is an awesome opportunity for meaningful time to connect with others. If you are struggling to find a reason that volunteering should be a priority in your life, volunteer simply because you can meet people. Volunteering is a shared activity that can help to develop friendships and get people out of their comfort zones.

Second, volunteer if you are a Christian. As children of God, we are hardwired to be in community with one another and to serve one another, and there is something special about dedicating your time and energy to those who need it most. It is much easier than many think. Whether it is something as informal as helping out a neighbor or something more formal, such as signing up and interviewing for an organization, there is a plethora of opportunity out there.

Next, volunteering can help in more practical ways, as well. It can help boost your resume and help one get more experience in a particular field. Not only can students volunteer for particular organizations or fields of interest, but all volunteer work can help develop important skills such as teamwork, communication, organization, time-management and problem-solving.

So where can you volunteer? 

First, head over to one of the many senior centers surrounding California Baptist University’s campus; these care centers are always looking for volunteers to serve and spend time with their elderly communities. 

Students can also tutor for the Office of Student Success or help international students with their English by becoming a conversation partner through the International Center right here on campus. 

One should consider volunteering with one of the many churches and shelters in Riverside that aid the homeless community. Asking your church how you can serve with them is an excellent place to start.

There is so much need right here at our doorsteps, and we have the opportunity to show people who Jesus Christ is by loving others and serving them. 

Isaiah 58:10 states, “Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.”

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