What are some common reasons why people volunteer?


Quick Answer

People volunteer for a variety of reasons including a desire to feel a sense of purpose, because they're passionate about something, to give back to their communities or simply to meet others. Most volunteers consider volunteering a productive way to spend their free time.

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Full Answer

Many individuals choose to volunteer to give their lives a sense of purpose. Young people who may be undecided on a career path are often drawn to volunteer work because it allows them to feel like they're doing something important. Retired persons may volunteer because it gives them something purposeful to do when they're no longer part of the workforce.

Volunteers often choose a particular type of work because they're passionate about it. For example, a love of animals may inspire certain individuals to volunteer at a local animal shelter. Losing a relative to cancer can motivate a person to want to help others in her local community.

People often choose to volunteer out of a desire to give back. A person who has experienced homelessness and gotten back on his feet with help from his local homeless shelter may feel a strong sense of gratitude that inspires him to help others in similar situations. Similarly, recovering addicts may feel a desire to educate younger kids about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

At the very least, volunteering is an opportunity to meet others with similar interests. For someone with free time on her hands, it can be a great way to keep busy and enjoy new experiences.

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