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Giving Back: The Importance of Volunteering


Most of us have had the chance to volunteer for something. Whether it’s a school fundraiser, a church function, or a local charity, there is always a need for people to donate their time to a good cause. Even at PHN, we welcome the support of volunteers, especially for our PHN Charitable Foundation and its events. But why is it so important that people are willing to help out? It turns out there are a number of benefits, both small and large.

First, it’s a way to give back to a local organization or cause that you support. That leads to one of the most important aspects of volunteering. It’s important to support the cause to which you donate your time. If you love animals, for example, then spending some time at a local shelter might be for you. It helps to make the experience feel less like work, and you’re more likely to return to help if you enjoy it. Even if you’re volunteering for something that isn’t at the top of your list, it’s important to remember that you’re building experiences for others. At PHN, for example, the support we receive goes toward programs that work toward expanding access to healthcare to all, even if they don’t have insurance or can’t afford it. Many of us take for granted what we do have, while others would be grateful to have a fraction of that. Volunteering helps to give back and create positive futures for the less fortunate.

Volunteering also exposes us to new experiences. It allows us to develop technical, social, and academic skills that can’t be taught in a classroom. From serving food at a church dinner to reading to the elderly, volunteering allows us to experience new environments and situations. More than that, though, it encourages us to try new things, which can lead to new hobbies, interests, and opinions. Finally, working in different areas and fields can help to pick a career path. Learning more about your own interests will help to develop your future.

Another important part of volunteering is connecting to new people. Helping others shows your character, which is important in forming connections to people. It allows you to meet a variety of people from all walks of life. Some of these people, in turn, may have connections to jobs or other programs that you could benefit from. Maybe the supervisor at the local food warehouse is friends with the area bank manager, and while you were working, you mentioned that you had recently applied at the bank. If you’ve been volunteering and doing well, there’s a chance the supervisor will recommend you to the bank manager. There are a ton of opportunities for networking through volunteering, and you’ll never know until you try.

Finally, and perhaps the simplest thing, is a sense of accomplishment. Helping people just feels good. Many people who volunteer will say they’ve benefitted personally from the experience. It’s builds self-confidence and lifts our spirits. Seeing the less fortunate benefit from your volunteer work, knowing that you helped someone, is a feeling that money can’t buy.

If you want to help out and donate some of your time, the PHN Charitable Foundation is always looking for volunteers. Our next event is the Snowball Crawl, hosted on February 24th, and all help is welcomed and appreciated! Just check out our website: to learn more about our upcoming events and the programs you’ll be supporting. You can also contact Kristen Serna, Fundraising Manager for PHNCF, at (724) 981-2875 ext. 404.