7 good reasons to give back to your sport: Volunteering is good for you

Endurance rides are fabulous community events.  So many of us enjoy them and there are so many aspects to the event.

The truth is our sport could not happen without our valued volunteers.  Volunteers are special and we welcome them.

Whether you donate time, effort or sponsorship (rug, hand made items, or other contribution) giving back is beneficial--and not just for the recipients. Research has shown that the old adage, “it’s better to give than to receive” is true after all.

Most volunteers do it because they like doing something useful and helping out. Many others said they enjoy doing volunteer work and feeling good about themselves.

Besides feeling good about yourself for doing something for others in our sport, giving back is also good for your physical health. Volunteers are active people and rate their health as "good."  Volunteering  increases your self-esteem and has been linked to improved nervous and immune system functions too.

Volunteering can help fight depression. Helping others can help take your mind off your own problems and enable you to see the bigger picture. Once you see the difference you can make in another person's life, your own problems can seem smaller and more manageable.

Volunteering is one way to build a social life and improve your emotional and physical health at the same time.

Here are 7 More Reasons to Volunteer:

1. Develop new skills. Gaining skills, knowledge and expertise are common side effects of volunteering. Giving others your time brings you interesting and challenging opportunities that might not come along otherwise. This experience can be added to your resume and could result in a better paying job in the future.

 2. Make social connections. Volunteering is a marvelous avenue for making new friends and getting to know your friends better. Another thought is, why not invite a new friend into endurance.  They may be really interested to join in. 

3. Give back to your community. Doing something for the endurance community you are part of  and returning the favor to those who have helped you in your sport are strong motivators. Everyone, rich or poor, gets something from our sport, and volunteering is one way to show a sense of appreciation.

4. Develop and grow as a person. Volunteering is an excellent way to develop as a person….and you are never too old or too young. Volunteering has some nice surprises in unexpected ways. There is no telling what life will bring you when you volunteer.

5. Gain a new perspective. Life can be hard and when you’re feeling down, your problems can seem insurmountable. Volunteering can offer a new perspective—seeing people who are worse off than you are, yet still hanging in there, can help you see your life in a whole new light.

6. Know that you're needed. Feeling needed and appreciated are important, and you may not get that appreciation from your paid work or home life where the things you do are expected or taken for granted. When you volunteer, you realize just how much you are truly needed. Being a valuable part of the endurance community where your help is needed is a strong incentive to continue—people are depending on you. If you don’t do it, who will?

7. Boost your self-esteem. Many volunteers experience a sense of increased self-esteem and greater self-worth. Helping others makes you feel good about yourself, because you’re doing something for someone that they couldn’t do without your help.

When you help in our sport, you’re really making a difference. It’s a good feeling.

By Debbie Grull