“Ah summertime, school is closed” is a line from one of Jamaica’s most popular summer times. Nothing is as anticipated as summer holidays when you’re a teenager. Plans are made, TV shows are binged, parties are attended and landmarks are visited. In Jamaica, the summer holidays are approximately two months long. During this period, parents often struggle to find activities for their children. However, parents need not worry as they can introduce their children to volunteerism this summer.
According to Collins Dictionary, “Volunteerism” is the principle of donating time and energy for the benefit of other people. People worldwide, volunteer for varying reasons. Some of which includes: eliminating poverty and crime and improving education. Also, they volunteer to fight against social issues such as racism. Volunteerism is beneficial to society in many ways. It keeps the community, as well as organizations, afloat. The act of volunteerism is the cornerstone for organizations globally. It is also evident in both the private and public sectors.
Impact of Volunteerism on Society
The importance of volunteers is often underestimated. Many people are unaware of their importance on both a local and national level. Listed below, are a few examples of their impact on society:
- They provide economic benefits: volunteers are people who donate their time to various projects without requiring monetary compensation. The services they provide ranges between specialised and general. The economic sector greatly benefits from their services as they would have to otherwise pay for them.
- They get tasks completed quicker: volunteers are not motivated by money to complete tasks. Also, they value their time. Projects will be completed quicker because they are doing them because they genuinely want to and not just because they’re getting paid.
- Helps society/community: services offered include; helping vulnerable people, protecting the environment and creating youth programs. These services, as well as others, often bring the community together.
Benefits for Youth
An article from the Jamaica Observer highlighted that in recent years, there has been an increase in Jamaican youth volunteers; Not only is volunteerism beneficial to the society, it also has personal benefits for youth:
- It is good for one’s mind and body – Volunteering helps combat depression, anxiety, anger and stress. It also increases self-confidence and physical health.
- Volunteering can help you build links with prospective employers or business partners.
- Provides one with the chance to gain experience and skills needed for their future career.
- Youth who volunteer are more likely to feel connected to their communities and are less likely to engage in crime and violence.
- Volunteering as a family is effective in strengthening familial bonds.
- Volunteering brings fun and fulfilment to your life.
Places to Volunteer
In Jamaica, there are a lot of places where youths can volunteer:
- Community centres
- Youth organizations
- Service organizations such as Angels of Love, Red Cross, Kiwanis Club, etc.
“Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they’re worthless, but because they’re priceless.” a quote by Sherry Anderson best explains the worth of a volunteer.
Make a difference in someone’s life this summer.