The difficulties associated with getting youth - and indeed the population as a whole - excited and involved in volunteerism are considerable. The expression of helping others is fundamental and found prevalently in children. Historically, societies across the globe have emphasized work, family, and community but have not properly articulated the extreme significance of volunteerism.
Access to volunteer movements or lack thereof, is one of the top reasons youth do not volunteer. A lot of movements are unable to adequately communicate with the youth due to their limited resources. Further, today’s youth concentrate more on their own lives as opposed to those of others. This is only natural but does not necessarily mean the desire to help others through volunteerism is absent. As a volunteer and team member of STITCH, this obstacle simply makes me want to work harder in order to spread youth volunteerism out there!
Volunteerism is life changing. As a volunteer I have not only experienced positive change, but I have done so with people I would not have met under other circumstances. Amazing people; Beautiful, caring, devoted people who have each taught me valuable lessons both directly and indirectly. I have gained many lifelong friends that I can truly connect with because I have chosen a life of dedication through volunteer movements.
The ability to gain perspective on life is also offered through the volunteering process. If you are having troubles of any kind, my advice is to volunteer! No matter how immense or painful your issues may be, exposing yourself to the lives and problems of others creates a transcendence that you can find nowhere else.
Yes, volunteerism serves as catalyst during any sort of personal or intellectual battle - in a positive way. By getting out of your personal space for a bit and experiencing the lives of others, one is able to quickly gain understanding and dispose of that which does not hold substance.
Some youth have mentioned that volunteering is not fun. This simply is not true! Think about it. Meeting new friends means having new jokes, laughing, loving and learning. Depending on the movement, the adventure alone creates fun. Even travel is a part of volunteering: Seeing new things, meeting new people, doing something you never thought you would do. These are all a part of any project.
What you will discover however, is that the fulfillment these events inspire is what will keep you coming back. When you have finished painting a family’s home, or fixing a door, providing a place to stay, a warm meal, giving your heart through an embrace or a shared memory, bringing a grown man to tears of gratitude and love, you will understand that nothing else in this world can give you that feeling.
In order to find out how STITCH hopes to make a difference with volunteerism, please visit our website www.stitchmovement.com. You can also check us out on Facebook. Join us!