5 selfish reasons to volunteer in the Calgary Region

by • June 29, 2015 • Community, Economy

By Chad Hason, Content Contributor

5 selfish reasons to volunteer in the Calgary Region
Photo credit: ccbarr  Creative Commons  

As a former event manager with more than seven years of experience, I have a unique understanding of what goes on behind the scenes of major productions.

I’ve dealt with million dollar and shoe string budgets alike;  there is nothing more valuable and more influential towards an event’s success than that offered and executed by volunteers.

As Canadians, we already have a friendly and selfless reputation of putting others first.

But while volunteering does help others, it also produces benefits you may not have known about.

Here’s the top five selfish reasons to become a volunteer in the Calgary Region:

1. Meeting different people

5 selfish reasons to volunteer in the Calgary Region
Photo credit: davebloggs007 Creative Commons 

Volunteer work tends to attract people that are nice to be around; the type of people with stories to tell and who care about the needs of others.

And because volunteers are usually local to the area, volunteering is a great way for those who are new to an area to meet new friends within their community.

Even if you aren’t looking for new friends, volunteering for events will often bring you behind the scenes where you can find yourself rubbing elbows with all kinds of interesting people including:

  • Musicians
  • Politicians
  • Athletes
  • Celebrities
  • Local Media
  • and many more…

Finally, if you volunteer for something that falls in line with your personal or professional interests, you’ll meet skilled professionals, industry experts and topic enthusiasts in a position to help you build your network of contacts.

 

2. Indirect benefits

5 selfish reasons to volunteer in the Calgary Region
Photo credit: Dawn Creative Commons 

When you volunteer, you help something reach its potential. But not only that, you also get to enjoy the fruits of its success!

The result of your sacrifice often leads to perks that you would otherwise miss out on.

Most volunteers get a free, and often times behind-the-scenes, look at whatever it is they are helping deliver. This can mean getting to go to fun places and great venues to see new things.

But that’s not all – organizers tend to treat their volunteers to freebies that can include:

  • Free admission (that you can use even after your shift of volunteering is done
  • Free food and drinks (to keep your energy up)
  • Branded shirts, hats or other event swag
  • Volunteer-specific perks like discounts, hype events or the chance to meet celebrities
  • A behind the scenes unique view of the festivities
  • Treat bags – provided by sponsors of the event

So even though volunteering is an unselfish way to give back – chances are you’ll get your fair share of free stuff in the process.

 

3. Develop your skills

5 selfish reasons to volunteer in Calgary Region
Photo credit: Travis Ford Creative Commons 

Just because you don’t get paid in cash, doesn’t mean you won’t benefit from the experience in other ways.

When it comes to getting hired at a job, those with the most experience tend to be the most attractive hires. But that experience doesn’t have to be on the job.

Most volunteers will answer to a coordinator who is usually an expert in their particular field.

It’s an extremely valuable opportunity.

Volunteers can learn about customer service, security, audio visual skills, carpentry, crafts, food and beverage service, people management, venue set-up, animal care… the list is endless.

In fact, volunteering provides a ton of experience and skill-developing opportunities that will help you increase your skill-set in a variety of professional areas employers always look for, including:

  •  Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Willingness to learn
  • Work Ethic
  • Communication
  • Interpersonal development
  • and many more…

At the very least, volunteering makes you look like someone that cares about your community and that understands how many little cogs it takes to make a giant wheel move forward.

 

4. Quality of Life

5 selfish reasons to volunteer Calgary Region
Photo credit: davebloggs007 Creative Commons

When it comes to choosing where you live, or where you’d like to visit, the opportunity to participate in events, take in the arts or even enjoy the cleanliness and valued set of norms (that make a place more attractive) all factor into your decision.

I mean, who wants to live somewhere with nothing to offer? Not me!

The truth is that volunteers make the difference between a great place and a dull one.

Without them, many parades and music festivals wouldn’t be able to afford the cost of operations.

Taxes would need to be raised to increase the level of cleanliness around town and artists would never get the chance to share their talents with the masses.

Not exactly an ideal situation…

The truth is, communities become more attractive, more welcoming and more fun to be a part of when volunteers contribute their skills and time to the public – which leads to a better quality of life for all.

 

5. It just feels good to volunteer in the Calgary Region

5 selfish reasons to Volunteer in the Calgary Region
Photo Credit: San Jose Library Creative Commons

All of the tangible benefits aside, the fact remains that helping others is its own reward.

It just feels good to help out!

You won’t have to do much before you begin to see the grateful smiles of those you help. You’ll also  hear the stories of those whose lives have been blessed by a volunteer’s willingness to help.

And when the true spirit of volunteering begins to shine through you, it will not only brighten someone else’s day – it will begin to make your own life more fulfilling, more exciting and more filled with joy!

To find out how to get involved in volunteering within your town or community – simply contact the city hall or organizational head-office to find out some of the many opportunities that exist!

Or, check out this website for a volunteer centre near you.

See you out there!
Chad Hason is a Canadian storyteller and owner of Candid MarComm.

 

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