Every now and then we have to brag. Today is that day for me. Today I’m going to tell you why I volunteer and why should you. Based on my own experience you’ll find out that volunteering is not always what you thought it was.
Let’s start years ago. Back in secondary school, I was awarded by the city of Krakow a prize for volunteering. This was a simple recognition that I was helping other people. Back then I was going to church and the majority of help for elderlies or disabled children came from the request of people to the church community. A simple and typical example of how you imagine volunteering.
But now my volunteering looks a bit different. I currently donate my time to 2 causes. WordPress and POLANZ. Let me start with the first one. WordPress is a simple Content Management System allows users to edit a website. A perfect example is this website. You’ll note on the bottom that it’s made in WordPress. I got involved in the WordPress community with a friend almost 3 years ago and we’ve been running WordPress Meetups and WordCamp Auckland (WordPress conference) for free since. We donate a lot of time, a lot of energy and sometimes our own money.
POLANZ (Polish New Zealand Business Association) on the other hand is an organisation where businesses from New Zealand help Polish businesses do business in New Zealand and sometimes New Zealand Businesses do businesses in Poland. We’re enabling the connection and often assist with information. This is also fully volunteering role and we don’t get paid. I am vice president elected last year and the position and my work there was originally quite unexpected and accidental.
In both cases, the main goal of volunteering the time is to help people. They are not poor people or sick people. They are just normal people like you and me. But helping each other is our responsibility and that is why I think everyone should be doing it. You see the progress we’ve made in the world wouldn’t be so quick if kept our knowledge, our findings and our inventions only to ourselves. If Thomas Weller kept his chickenpox vaccination only for his family would we invent other vaccinations too? Or would he stagger the progress? That’s why no matter how much you know, spend your free time every now and then and share your knowledge.
Here are a few examples of how you can help people without too much of a sweat. If you have children at school, talk to one of the teachers and offer a workshop with whatever is that you’re doing. Are you a doctor? Show kids what you do at work. Are you a firefighter? Explain how your every day looks like. Are you factory worker? Describe your day at work too. There’s no shame in work and trying, everyone has to put food on the table and everyone has this unique set of skills that make them special. Share them, brag, be proud of them.
This doesn’t have to be for children. How about you do it in a little village in Samoa when you travel for holidays. Spend some time with locals and ask them whether they want to learn something that you can teach them. Passing the knowledge, whether it’s about business, programming, cooking, budgeting money or sewing a hole in a sweater, is very important because that’s how we humans survived for millennials. We even sang the knowledge before books were invented. That’s how Illiad and Oddysey have survived. So let’s not lose those skills and let’s continue them every day. Find some time and volunteer to help others. You’ll never know but one day you might get a crucial help from someone else too.