In any community- big or small, urban or rural, the single best way to meet people and make meaningful connections is to volunteer. By selflessly putting yourself out there, you are showing people who you are and volunteering says only good things about you. It says you’re thoughtful, and care about something other than yourself, and if you volunteer- give you time for little in return- in my opinion you are someone I want to know.
I guarantee you without volunteers Australia would come to a grinding halt. Rural communities like mine are built on the backs of volunteers and some of our most important services wouldn’t be possible without the amazing people who give their time for the benefit of others. It is estimated that volunteers are worth about 25.4 billion dollars to the Australian economy- that makes it pretty clear that volunteers are important!
Have you ever visited a hospital? I was sitting in the waiting room of PMH (the state children’s hospital for those outside WA) and watched a lady coordinate a play session for the kids waiting there- just one of the many people within our health system helping the cogs turn and not getting paid for the fantastic work they do.
Everywhere you turn you can see someone donating their time and energy for others- sports, events, ambulance and fire personnel- it’s easy to forget how much we actually rely on volunteers!
The importance of volunteering can often be forgotten. It’s easy to assume that someone else will do it, or that you aren’t really needed that much, but I can guarantee that someone somewhere would be infinitely grateful if you offered a hand.
People are often saying they feel isolated or find it hard to make connections with others in the community- I really struggled with that too, until I got involved in a few not-for-profit organisations and gave my time to help- it is the best way to meet people, make friends and get support- so give it a go!! (you might get to meet Australia’s cutest goal umpire)