OK, I know, everybody’s heard it all before, but, because I can, I’ll say it again: It pays off to help those around you. This statement holds high relevance to the people who make it mandatory to achieve 40 volunteer hours by the end of high school. But helping out a community is more than doing time to get the hours – it’s about making a difference in the lives of those around you.
According to Statistics Canada, over 13.3 million people—accounting for 47% of Canadians aged 15 and over—did volunteer work in 2010. They devoted almost 2.07 billion hours to their volunteer activities: a volume of work that is equivalent to just under 1.1 million full-time jobs.
With the stress of school, friends, hormones, and LIFE, we tend to think about the difficulty of our own existence as being unmanageable, causing us to rarely – in this day and age – stop to think about those people who are in far worse situations, because they are there. Forgetting about them or ignoring their call for help doesn’t make it any less real.
The world isn’t ideal yet, but change can be made. By putting our own needs aside for a minute, and focusing on the bigger picture of the world, we can help ourselves out, too.
In truth, we should focus on the positive side of life. Not only will it lower stress levels, anxiety, and make us happier, but it will make it so that we, in the future, will take less for granted. Deepening our understanding of issues, greater than just our own, makes life a whole lot easier.
It helps to help.
By taking part in charity events, fundraisers, or any other form of assisting your community, you are doing so much more than a simple action. You support more than just a checkmark that you did the required number of hours; you support your entire community.
Having quite recently climbed up the 1,776 stairs of the CN Tower to raise money for United Way, I can say that knowing that you support your community, and the difference you make, makes every moment worthwhile.