Volunteering: What Does it Take to be Successful?

During my first month volunteering as a receptionist with Caring Network, it has been a mixture of quiet shifts and one bustling with clients. Yet, I have learned that busyness isn’t the marker of success in a volunteer position. It is about much more than just the job description or the amount of work. It is about becoming part of a movement bigger than myself and making an impact. Yet, there are certain things that can determine a successful volunteer experience. So, what does it take?

Caring Network operates six pregnancy centers spread throughout DuPage County. We come alongside women facing unplanned pregnancy, providing free services and compassionate support.  Faithful volunteers and generous partners support our centers.  If you would like to learn more about volunteering or other ways to get involved, check out more information on our Get Involved page.  

Qualities of a Successful Volunteer:

Volunteering often comes about due to a desire to connect with a specific cause, or a freedom of schedule that allows for flexibility and contribution to an organization.  Aside from just having the time and space in which to volunteer, what makes for a successful role?

Sacrifice

Successful volunteering requires sacrifice. It is a sacrifice of your time and energy. Caring Network relies on the commitment and faithfulness of volunteers. Regardless of how many tasks the volunteer shift may hold, the role is vital.  The fact that you are taking time to be physically present and show your support speaks volumes. Your presence allows others to pour more into their own work. It also provides refreshing energy by bringing in new workers who support the pro-life cause.

Flexibility

Successful volunteering involves flexibility. It requires a willingness to do the little things and fill in where you can. There may often be things a volunteer does that aren’t exactly part of the job description. For example, as a receptionist I can help tidy up around the office or do some light cleaning. If the day is slow and there is not much to do, I look for a ways to maximize my presence in the office by sharing a friendly smile or conversation with someone to brighten their day. When you volunteer, everything you do can be an act of generosity and demonstration of your care. Look for where you are needed!

Desire to Learn

Successful volunteering also requires a desire to learn. There will likely be a learning curve about the job and the movement you are supporting. Your level of passion for what you are doing will make a real difference. Demonstrating your passion in your volunteering will encourage those around you. This impact on others is what will make your volunteering a successful and rewarding experience.

There are many volunteer opportunities available at Caring Network.  From housekeeping and handyman work to material transportation and volunteer receptionists, there are various ways to utilize your gifts and abilities.  If you have spare time and an interest in joining our mission, please check out the current opportunities that are available.  We’d love to hear from you!