May 15, 2013

by: Emily Hastings

Benefits of Volunteering

UCP Volunteers at the Race to Empower 5k and One Mile Fun Run.

UCP of Greater Cleveland understands how important volunteers are to function as a successful nonprofit organization. We not only rely on others for monetary support, but also for their commitment of time and energy. We are fortunate to have a strong base of dedicated volunteers who generously give their time to positively impact the lives of UCP clients.  Therefore, I thought it would be useful to share how volunteering not only helps the organization, but how it can also benefit the volunteer.

1)   Meet new people – It is often difficult to meet new people, especially if you are not a naturally outgoing person. Volunteering is great way to meet people who share similar interests, thereby opening up avenues to make new friends and networking contacts.
2)   Learn new skills – Volunteering gives you firsthand experience that you cannot gain in the classroom, such as planning, goal setting, problem solving, and interacting with people outside of your usual peer group.
3)   Explore possible new interests –When you volunteer, you get a chance to “test drive” new interests and discover new passions you did not even know you had.
4)   Build your resume – Not only does volunteering provide networking contacts and skills that potential employers find valuable, but it also shows your commitment to the community. When employers see that you are a person who likes to give back to the community, it shows a side of you that cannot be reflected solely by your “prior work experience.”
5)   Improves your physical and mental health – You know that “good feeling” you get when you volunteer? It turns out that feeling may be something more. Studies show volunteers live longer and have lesser incidents of chronic pain and heart disease. Volunteering also lowers depression, especially in people over the age of 65. To see more on this, please go to
6)   Raises self-confidence and self-esteem –Everyone likes to feel wanted and important. When you are able to give back to the community and help people in need, your self-confidence and self-esteem are naturally boosted.
7)   Makes you appreciate what you have – Many people fall into the mindset of “If only I had…” or “I wish I could…” When you volunteer, you learn that there are many people less fortunate than yourself, thereby changing you mindset to “Wow, I am very blessed to be able to…”

Can you think of other benefits of volunteering? Let us know in the comments section below!

We have many volunteer opportunities available at UCP. You can find out more details at  Please fill out the volunteer application form at the bottom of the website or contact Emily Hastings at if you are interested.

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