Posted by: alcrabat | 29 August 2012

The Benefits of Volunteering

By Oussama Lamaankache

What does “volunteering” mean?

I asked my friends that question and here were some of the answers:

“Volunteer work is to give help to those who need [it].” —–Samir

“It’s to give without expecting to receive.”—–Jihane

“It’s a small help for your society which you gain some ‘Hassanate’ from.” —–Abdlwahed

“Volunteering is what you give but not when you give your possessions. It’s when you give of yourself that you truly give.” —–Ms. Zineb Gormat, ALC Teacher and head of the ALC’s Community Service Project

For me, volunteering is a small help that you give to people in need (disabled, elderly, poor or sick people) without expecting to receive anything for the help that you gave.

Members of the ALC’s Community Service Program

When I was young, each time I saw a disabled person, I said to myself, “Unfortunately, I don’t have much money to help him or her. ” I thought that money was the only thing that helped disabled people. But, after a short experience at an association of disabled people, I know that this is not the case. In fact, if you give just a couple of hours of your time per day, week or even month to the disabled, it’s better than giving money. If you joke or sing with them that you care, it’s better than giving bills or cash.

Some can say: “I don’t have time. I work or I study or, sometimes, both during the week. I don’t even have time to relax; I can’t help or volunteer.” In this case, I say, “no.” You can volunteer and you can help. If you don’t have time at all, try to advise your classmates, colleagues or family members to volunteer. If you know someone who wants to give clothes or money to charity, you can show him or her the association which needs it the most.

As I wrote in the definition above, volunteering is to give without expecting to receive something. But, you do receive a lot of things. In fact, as Muslims we do volunteer work to gain some “Hassanate.” You also start to appreciate yourself more than before. That is to say, if you feel that you aren’t worth anything or that you aren’t good enough or you are hopeless, this feeling will disappear when you volunteer. Volunteering can also help you to face your challenges and your problems. You add the phrase “never give up” to your life’s dictionary and you omit the word “impossible.” Last, but by no means least, while doing volunteer work you feel comfortable and happy. You forget all the problems that you have. Volunteering makes your life better and better.

The ALC’s CSP team speaking with residents of a retirement home

In writing this article based on my experience with volunteer work, I decided to speak a little bit about the things that made me volunteer.

When I was growing up, I thought that disabled and elderly people were all the same as me. These people have every right to live with the same hope, security, fun, joy and manner that I enjoy in life. We are all humans. We have both equal rights and responsibilities.

One day, I saw an advertisement for the Community Service Program at the American Language Center, which talked about volunteer work. So, I said to myself, “It’s time to act on all my thoughts.” I attended the team workshops. Then, I visited some associations with the CSP and registered in one of them. Looking back on what I did, I see that it was one of the best decisions that I’ve ever made. I’m very thankful for the CSP team arranging the workshops and the visits that they did.

To sum up, volunteering, in general, is to give help to those in need. It works by giving part of your time to them and doing some activities with them such as reading books or telling jokes. We gain from it a feeling of satisfaction and we appreciate ourselves more and more.

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Responses

  1. hello!
    that’s a very good article I have a question please: from which level in the ALC can we participate in such projects ? I ask you as I’m a new student


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