In a 2009 article Elizabeth H. Hope reported on the rewarding act of volunteering.
She found that experienced workers have a great deal to offer a volunteer organization. There are also new skills and connections that can be put to work for a career in transition.
When President Obama spoke to the benefits of volunteerism at his inaugural it generated a new interest in volunteering. In the next year Peace Corp signups for over 55 volunteers shot up by 40%. More than half of those volunteers intended to continue working, and with some to start a new career after serving. The Corp found that host countries appreciated the experience these volunteers brought with them.
The process can take a while with a third of those applying being accepted. The health screening can be rigorous too, ensuring that the candidate can adapt to the conditions in their host country.
When the volunteers complete their service they receive an accrued allowance. They also receive job-placement services and preferential treatment if applying for federal jobs.
Considering volunteer work is a natural reaction when people may be thinking about their legacy and what they’ve done in their lives that matter. In other cultures experience and wisdom are often viewed with more reverence too.
Jud Dolphin, a former executive director for a nonprofit, then a volunteer in the Ukrain remarked,
“I feel like my life has come full circle, and I’m brimming over with a sense of legacy and accomplishment,” Mr. Dolphin said. “Now I have the opportunity to take all my experience to a country that needs it.”
The article finds families and singles all trying out the opportunity to give back and learn at the same time. Getting out in the world, even if it’s just down the street to the food bank, opens doors and connections that can lead to other avenues when considering what’s next.
The full article: Experienced, Eager to Serve, Will Travel
Photo of JFK from: JFK Library
Photo of volunteers by rawpixel.com from Pexels