It’s been said that good actions give strength to ourselves, and inspire good actions in others. Charitable works have many long lasting benefits, both for both the person volunteering their time, as well as the person receiving the acts of charity. Let’s take a look at these benefits, how they help those in need, and the benefits you receive.
One benefit of volunteering is that volunteers were found to feel as though they have more time. According to the Harvard Business Review, studies found that those who do acts of kindness for others, compared to acts for themselves, expressed that they felt as though they experience more time. The author stated that those who give away their time felt more “time affluent.
In addition to “time affluence,” it has also been reported that volunteering can make your body healthier. As reported by Corporation for National & Community Service, people who volunteered experienced both physical and mental benefits from volunteering. This was especially the case for those over the age of 60. Their research showed that volunteering provided volunteers with a greater sense of purpose in life.
There are many ways that a person can volunteer. One of these is skill based volunteering. This is where a person utilizes their skill set to help others in need. This can be at home or abroad. I personally have done this by volunteering my services in the Philippines. I’ll touch more on this later. It has been found that participating in skill based volunteerism helps develop new skills. The Stanford Social Innovation Review has dubbed skill based volunteering the ‘new executive training ground.’
Charitable Endowment Support Helps the Philippines
Dr. Michael Omidi tends to a patient in the Philippines.
One organization I have worked closely with is the Charitable Endowment Support. They are a non-profit organizations that works as an umbrella for various organizations that work with the homeless, impoverished, orphans and sexually abused in hopes to enhance their lives. They operate heavily in the Philippines to help those who are suffering. Their mission is simple:
“CES7 is committed to provide hope for children around the globe and seeks to build a fully operational orphanage in Cebu, Philippines. The orphanage will also serve as a medical and dental clinic to enhance the quality of life of children so that they may have a positive future.”
As you can see, their directive is twofold. First, they work to build a fully operational orphanage in Cebu. They also work to bring proper medical treatment to these children. Currently, 2 million children are orphans in the Philippines. Cebu has the largest number of impoverished families, even though it is the richest providence in the Philippines. The poorest families only live on one dollar a day for a family of five.
An impoverished province in Cebu, Philippines.
This forces children to work harsh jobs. Nearly 12% of children ages 5 to 14 have to labor in order to help provide their families food. This sometimes leads to drug use and prostitution. The sex trade is overwhelming large in their country. Some children a sadly perpetually forced to live within it. The works of CES7 works to better the lives of children in Cebu through an orphanage that doubles as a medical and dental clinic.
As I mentioned earlier, I personally have volunteered my services with the organization. In December of 2012, I embarked on a medical mission to provide medical care to children in the Philippines. Other doctors and I worked in the Calumpit Medical District. We performed 36 surgeries ranging from fixing cleft lips to extracting potentially cancerous moles and cysts.
Dr. Omidi working to surgically repair a cleft lip in the Philippines.
The hospital we worked in only had one operating room with an autoclave for sterilization. Sometimes we were forced to perform surgeries late in the night, since the operating room also double as use for newborn deliveries. It was difficult at times to see the amount of suffering, but we were doing our part to help these people.
Our work allowed these people to live better lives. They received care that they may have otherwise never received. That is the type of work CES7 is trying to promote. They, in partnership with my own organization No More Poverty, are working to get the people in the Cebu the much needed care and attention that they need.
Since then, CES7 and No More Poverty have done other medical trips to the Philippines, including one in July 2013 through our Operations for Hope. No More Poverty works to create novel solutions to increase the standard of living and quality of life for those living in impoverished areas. Through education, advocacy and volunteering, we help spread our message to others.
No More Poverty works with other charitable organizations like CES7 to further our mission. Poverty is a serious throughout America and the world. It requires both organizations like No More Poverty as well as CES7 and individual volunteers to help those living in poverty experience steps towards better lives.
Think about the ways in which you can help. What services are you able to provide those in need? What resources do you have that you are able to share with nonprofit organizations like CES7? Better yet, think about how volunteering could better your own life.
Perhaps you are feeling a bit unfulfilled. You may have a career, but still feel something is lacking? Maybe you feel like you want to make a greater difference in the world? This is possible through volunteer work.
Volunteering teaches you empathy. You are placed in circumstances that you would have otherwise never experienced. You meet people you may have never otherwise met. You are doing something that deep down you know is making a difference. You are living a meaningful life by helping those who do not have access to basic resources. In doing so, you are making a positive impact on their future.
If you have been seeking a greater purpose, learn more about the efforts of No More Poverty as well as CES7. Also think about how you can become an advocate for change. You could leverage your social media profiles to help spread information that informs your network about the problems poverty creates in countries like the Philippines as well as here in the US. By doing so, you are continuing the dialogue that poverty is a problem that must be addressed to better future generations to come.