Our days almost always feel jam packed. Volunteering takes up precious time. Between going to work or school, fulfilling family obligations, fitting in crucial time to socialize and maintain relationships, getting in some “you” time, and of course snagging the ever-elusive eight hours of sleep, it’s easy to understand why finding time to volunteer seems difficult if not impossible.
There are 168 hours in a week. Our volunteer opportunities require 45 minutes, plus travel time, each week. That’s roughly 0.59% of the 168 hours. The reality is that, of course, it IS difficult to find the time. But that small percentage of your week has the potential to boost your mood and sense of fulfillment, help you make professional and personal connections, and improve your overall health.
According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, volunteers experience pride and satisfaction from their experiences. And regarding volunteering for APIE in particular, you are strengthening communities, improving the lives of AISD students, making connections, and growing personally.
Through volunteering, people can expand their personal and professional networks from connections forged with fellow volunteers, teachers, and volunteer coordinators. In addition, volunteers can gain or improve valuable skills, including leadership and knowledge related to a particular field. According to another study by the Corporation for National & Community Service, “…volunteering is linked with a 27 percent increase in odds of employment, and provides ‘social capital and human capital,’ which are directly related with better job prospects.”
UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group company, and VolunteerMatch surveyed 4,500 adults in 2010 and found the following:
• 68% of volunteers agree that “volunteering has made me feel physically healthier”
• 89% of volunteers agree that “volunteering has improved my sense of well-being”
• 73% of volunteers agree that “volunteering lowers my stress levels”
Did you know the Independent Sector places a value on the volunteer hour in Texas at $22.57? Based on that value, APIE volunteers (classroom coaches and mentors combined) in the 2012-13 school year provided more than $975,000 worth of academic and personal support to students in AISD. And we’re betting they feel pretty great about that.
Thanks to all those who volunteer or donate! Our programs would not be successful without your efforts.