Top 3 Ways to be Motivated by Volunteering

Posted on February 22, 2016 by Susan Otten, ABC, SCMP, MBA

Updated March 5, 2020

Volunteering builds overall well being by serving others


This helps to feed multiple dimensions of your life, including your emotional, relational, spiritual and can even boost your physical well being, depending on the volunteering activity you choose.

“The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.” 

—Albert Schweitzer

The summer before my daughter turned 16, I had different hopes for our volunteering trip to Haiti. It was about showing her how privileged she was, to demonstrate we were not horrible parents depriving her of the basic necessities in life, like Nikes shoes or expensive jeans. Little did I know, the experience would change ME to the core and open MY eyes to the benefits of serving others. Of course, I grew relationally with my daughter, and the Hatian friends we made and still keep in touch with today.

VolunteeringYet I grew even more emotionally in my relationships with my daughter and the people we were serving, spiritually through connecting with my passions more deeply, and even physically, as my blisters and splinters attested to, as we served a community in need of help. It was one week of our lives, yet it made a life-long impact on families we were serving. As we were on door building duty, ours was the last step before a family moved into their new home. Installing the lock and giving the key to these families stirred feelings neither my daughter or I will ever forget.

If you're interested in building your well being, try volunteering. There are many resources to help you connect with an opportunity to stir your soul and put you in a place of giving back, and not all involve blisters, splinters or bruises. Our trip was organized through Baptist Global Response, a disaster relief and community development organization with a heart for helping people in desperate need. Many organizations can help connect you with a cause you feel passionate about.

Need help getting started? Try these ideas:

  1. Ask your heart – take some time to think about your passions or what moves your soul. Then search for a local organization supporting this same passion, they will be thrilled to learn you want to get involved.
  1. Ask your friends/colleagues – chances are someone you know is already involved in a worthwhile community effort and could use your help.
  1. Ask your community – most likely your community center, local gym, church or government office has a list of ways you can get involved.

Still looking for ideas, here are some additional resources to help get you started:

  • 10 Best Family Volunteer Vacations  A family vacation isn't just for relaxation. It's also a chance to pass along values to your kids, says Nancy Schretter, a family travel expert and founder of Together for Good, a non-profit group promoting volunteer travel experiences.
  • Family Volunteering: Teaching Kids to Care Volunteerism is one of the greatest experiences a child can receive.  Families who volunteer together strengthen their bonds by working towards a common cause.
  • Missouri Association for Community Action  In Missouri, 19 Community Action Agencies exist in every county to help people achieve self sufficiency.
  • Volunteer Match Brings good people and good causes together. Use this website to find a volunteering cause that lights you up or get in touch with a nonprofit that needs you.

We Can Help

Need help getting connected to a volunteering activity? Give us a call and we’ll help get you pointed in the right direction with our resources, counselors or peer coaches.

Call VITAL WorkLife

EAP members call 800.383.1908
Physicians Wellness Resources members call 877.731.3949

About VITAL WorkLife

VITAL WorkLife, Inc.™ is a national behavioral health consulting company providing support to individuals facing life’s challenges, while also assisting organizations in improving workplace productivity. This approach of helping employees and their families, while also guiding organizations, builds healthy, sustainable behaviors. Visit us at

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