What is Volunteering?

by Felix Prayogo

Volunteering. Is it good? Is it bad? The classic stereotype that appears when you hear the word “volunteer”, according to Dummies, is someone who has lots of time to spare and is looking for something to do. While it’s correct, this stereotype is also misleading. Not everyone who is volunteering has lots of time to spare (consider some full-time office workers who volunteered in several non-profit organizations) and is looking for something to do (consider housewives with lots of housework to do).

So, what is volunteering? Merriam-Webster defined it as “a person who voluntarily undertakes or expresses a willingness to undertake a service, such as (a) one who enters into military service voluntarily; (b) (1) one who renders a service or takes part in a transaction while having no legal concern or interest (2) one who receives a conveyance or transfer of property without giving valuable consideration”. Meanwhile Oxford Dictionary defined volunteer as “(1) a person who freely offers to take part in an enterprise or undertake a task; (2) a person who works for an organization without being paid”.

From those two reliable sources, we can take some keywords. Those keywords are: voluntarily, freely, willingness, without being paid. As you might already know, while you are volunteering, there are some aspects to which you might want to sacrifice. Mostly you are sacrificing your time, energy and money. But, in returns, you get lots of benefits, from new experience, meeting new people, polish your resumes and, most of all, you enjoy something you love or passionate to.

So, volunteering is a good thing. While you might be doing something that takes lots of your resources, it also gives you new things to learn from. Whether it is for your enjoyment or for your resume, doing something for “free” can make you a better person. For those who still hesitate to volunteer, think of new experience you might get for something you need in the future. For those who are volunteering, this is your chance to show the world what you can give to the community. Lastly, for those who have already volunteered, you’ve done a great job and don’t forget to volunteer again for better future of you.