Community Service and Volunteering- Is it Really Worth it?

Whether you’re a seasoned professional in the volunteer world or are still searching to get involved with that perfect cause, just know that there are endless opportunities within your own community.

As a young professional, there are benefits to altruism that extend deeply into your career.  Financial powerhouse and our speaker for Monday's Behind the Scenes Speaker Series event, Gail Perry-Mason, knows this all too well. For the past 18 years, she has devoted her summers to teaching youth about financial literacy through her Money Matters for Youth camps- in addition to a host of other organizations and causes that she is engaged with. 

Here’s why you should consider volunteering:

It builds character, reduces stress.

Being able to commit to a cause, even if only for a few hours, may help you build character and self-esteem. Gaining different perspectives by seeing how your community comes together to help each other can also give you a sense of fulfillment and broaden your horizons on what else goes on outside of your day-to-day life. Mentally, you could become stronger and more connected to your community. 

Not only can volunteering strengthen your mind, according to Harvard Health Publications and a study from Carnegie Mellon University, it can also contribute positively to your physical health by lowering blood pressure and lengthening your lifespan. 

Detroit Young Professionals recently partnered with Covenant House of Michigan for their Share Your Love Open House event, which served as DYP’s monthly Service in the City outing.  Covenant House also hosts an annual Sleep Out, in which the city’s top executives and familiar faces spend the night outside with only a sleeping bag and a coat.  Ms. Perry-Mason was among this year’s homeless-for-a-night and praised the experience as “humbling and worthwhile,” and despite the freezing temperature, “a great night.” 

Networking and career building opportunities.

While contributing your free time, you’re given the perfect opportunity to gain experience and expand certain skills such as time management, project coordination, fundraising and more. These are all things that you can tie into your current job or even add to your resume while volunteering your time.

“Opportunity and community have something in common- UNITY!” Ms. Perry-Mason encourages her mentees and Money Matters for the Youth campers to stay active in their community.  After all, networking through a specific cause can help build relationships, expand your contacts and fine-tune your social skills.

MOST importantly, you’re helping others.

Isn’t that what it’s really all about? The satisfaction of knowing you worked with others towards a common goal in order to better your community is a great accomplishment. There are so many different organizations that could use a helping hand right here in Detroit.

Detroit Young Professionals partners with different organizations throughout the year and hosts Service in the City, a community outreach program that allow both members and non-members alike to volunteer their time.

Our next Service in the City takes place on March 7, 2015 from 9:00am-12:00pm at Forgotten Harvest.  Click here to learn more about Forgotten Harvest and to sign up!

For more information on Service in the City, please check out DYP’s calendar of events. We hope to see you at our next volunteer outing!