The Benefits of Volunteering

Greetings and welcome to my blog, or, as I like to think of it, my own personal, little whetstone to help keep my writing tools sharp. I confess I’ll probably be a little all over the place with my topics, but I’ll try to keep focused on writing and media/multimedia related topics.

Today I wanted to talk a little bit about the benefits of volunteering, as I just became of member of CKUW 95.5 FM, a local campus/community radio station here in Winnipeg. Beyond getting me out of the house and away from my computer screen, becoming a volunteer has a number of other advantages.

There is, of course, that warm, fuzzy feeling of giving back to the community that can help lift your spirits. There is also the fact that you’ll meet a lot of new people who likely share similar interests, which for single people could be a lovely change of pace from the bar scene. For writers, it’s an excellent opportunity to network and to study people. What better way to catch up on the latest teenager lingo for your screenplay than talking to a living, breathing teenager as you work together.

Another spinoff benefit of volunteering is learning new skill sets. With the multitude of volunteer possibilities out there, you are bound to fall on one that can teach you something new. In my case, I have a personal interest in radio dramas and now I am learning the ins and outs of radio, how to record and edit audio, and how to pitch ideas to a program director. As a whole it’s real life education that is hard to buy, let alone get for just donating your time.

If you get the chance, go out and volunteer. From a couple hours at your local community club to helping out at a local festival, there are hundred different ways to lend a hand. It will help raise your spirits, you’ll meet new people, you’ll learn a new thing or two and the people and organisations you’re helping out will really appreciate it.

On a closing note, I’d like to plug Katimavik, Canada’s national youth volunteer program. I volunteered through Katimavik after my first year of university and it was a wonderful experience full of adventures and fond memories.