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Many people consider volunteering to be an activity reserved for the Holiday Season and high school students looking to gain resume experience. However, volunteering carries behind it much more importance than that.
The benefits of volunteering are endless. Volunteering can help you in your professional life because it ‘amps up’ your resume and makes you seem more dynamic. In addition to the extra resume clout, volunteering also has added benefits because you acquire new skills, knowledge, and perspective.
“The common reason why people (especially working professionals) give is that they simply do not have the time to volunteer,” shares Patrick Fowler, Director of Student Administration at Ashton College. “But we all know that this is not true. Everyone has 24 hours on the day; all we need to do is for everyone to prioritize giving back.”
“Volunteering is a way to give back to the community, to give a voice to those people who struggle to speak for themselves, and to make our cities and countries a better place,” says Patrick. “I believe it is very important for all of us to do at least a little bit of volunteer work.”
An MC in our 2013 Ashton Achievement Awards graduation ceremony,Patrick has been a great advocate for volunteering and giving back. We’ve interviewed Patrick Fowler to find out more about his volunteering activities and how they've impacted his life; and here is what he shared with us!
Of course! It allows me to connect with my community and also to spend time with my son. I believe it is important to instill good values in our kids early on, and teaching him about volunteering – and not simply telling him, but showing him through my example. I believe it is the best way to teach him to give back.
Volunteering also provides me with the opportunity to give back and make a difference.
I have been volunteering off and on for over five years now. I am currently a Beaver leader and in my second year. It is exciting!
There are a few places where I volunteer regularly. Beaver Scouts is one of them: I am a Leader there. I was a Cub and a Scout growing up, and I truly feel the objectives and mission of the organization match my own.
Another role I rake on is being a Run Clinic Leader. Run leaders have had a tremendous impact on me in the past, and I feel the same passion they do: I want to do whatever I can to help other people reach their goals. That is important to me.
I would say not to go into volunteering asking ‘what’s in it for me?’ Go in thinking ‘I have this to offer. Where can I help?’ The rewards come with time, and they may not be what you think.
There is great power in volunteering. Any one person may not be able to make much of a difference; but you have to understand that small efforts made by the many can make a great impact. This is what makes volunteering so great.