Volunteering is more than just in-person service

For Inspiration      4 min read

By Staci Tan

 

“If you do not have the time and energy to volunteer in person, volunteer your voice.” This has been my mantra throughout the years. When I first started volunteering in college, I did not have the money to donate, so I donated my time and energy. As a typical millennial, I also talked about my volunteering experience on social media.

 

Little did I know that by writing about my experience on Facebook, I was exposing my friends to World Vision’s work and subsequently inspired them to contribute in their own ways.

 

On one occasion, I posted on Facebook that I was at a Gifts of Hope roadshow. Shortly after, a colleague contacted me to put in a donation on his behalf. Over the years, many friends have also reached out to do the same after reading my posts.

I first started volunteering with World Vision at the annual 30-Hour Famine Countdown Event back in 2012. I had a great time but what was more fulfilling was what I had learned through the event. Volunteering is not just about giving back to society; it also pushes one out of their comfort zone in a good way. There is always something new to learn because each experience is different – you work with different staff, volunteers and crowd, and will be assigned different roles each time. My interpersonal skills and knowledge about global issues have also improved through volunteering with World Vision.

 

I decided to continue volunteering with World Vision because they make volunteering easy! Communication is always clear, there are trainings and follow up emails to keep us well equipped and updated. Staff are also always friendly, helpful and considerate, and my fellow volunteers are such a happy bunch!

In 2016, I was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer and had to embark on a nine-month medical treatment. While I could not physically volunteer at events, I still wanted to do my part. I turned to writing about World Vision and advocating for their work on my blog and social media platforms.

 

During that time, I also became a child sponsor. I had the intention to sponsor a child from very early on but was always waiting for the day I earned enough to commit. However, I decided then, in the midst of fighting cancer that I was going to act on it. So when my birthday rolled around in that same year, I signed up to be a child sponsor as a birthday gift to myself.

 

After my doctor declared me cancer-free, I returned to volunteering at events but did not stop writing about my experience. Over the years, I have learned that volunteering is great but let’s not stop at that. Let’s talk about volunteering on social media, about our own personal volunteering experience, because we’ll never know who may be inspired by our sharing.

 

World Vision is always looking for passionate and committed volunteers. Sign up today if you would like to join us as a volunteer!

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