We know that the human body is capable of releasing endorphins that result in highs without addictive drugs. Volunteering can induce such a high by creating a euphoric feeling of satisfaction. But not all volunteer efforts create the same highs.
Some corporate responsibility activities have a large social benefit even though the volunteers do not interact with the actual recipients of the social good. A school fence can be painted, a park cleaned, funds can be raised, and organizational structures can be optimized. The volunteers of these types of activities can obtain the satisfaction of a job well done, while intuitively knowing that their work is impacting people in need.
But, for many volunteers, the satisfaction of giving time and energy is substantially heightened if the effort involves interaction with the people in need. The emotional power of human interaction is heightened even further if the volunteer activity forges an ongoing human relationship that results from service performed over an extended period of time.
Of course, these are also the most difficult volunteer opportunities to operate and manage as they often involve long term coordination to bring together people who are otherwise removed by geography and culture. Consequently, most corporate responsibility activities don’t forge ongoing human relationships.
At Innovations for Learning, we are proud to offer corporations a manageable way to enable volunteers to forge human relationships through our TutorMate program. Six-year-old children bestow enormous love and gratitude on the adults who help them, and the TutorMate program forges relationships between volunteers and young children who are longing for human interaction. When TutorMate volunteers give of themselves, they receive so much in return.
I doubt that any drug has ever produced the kind of high that volunteers experience as they help their students learn to read. I have been tutoring for a quarter of a century, and the high never diminishes when a student I’m helping breaks through to become a reader.
Whatever volunteer activity you pursue, I hope it gives you the kind of high that keeps you coming back for more. I hope you become hooked on giving back, throughout your lifetime! For more information on Innovations for Learning, click here.
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