This month’s focus for the Blogging GEMS series is pathways to healing, self-care, growth, and connection through acts of service.
What does ‘Acts of Service’ mean?
In writing this blog I googled ‘define acts of service’. Guess what came up straight away: Love Language.
At first, I screwed my nose up, shook my head, and thought to myself: why would I even want to know about acts of service within relationships?? I’m not even in a relationship!
However, I moved past my initial reaction and perhaps the need to be more specific with my searches. My next search was about ‘community’ acts of service, primarily known as ‘volunteering’.
According to Volunteering Australia, volunteering is time willingly given for the common good and without financial gain.
Benefits of Volunteering
Volunteering offers a number of benefits including professional, social and for the community as a whole.
At the start of my career in community work, a manager of mine said how he would look at an applicant’s resume and ascertain if they had undertaken any form of volunteering apart from their placements required for their degrees.
This was to determine not only their level of commitment to their own professional development and ‘on the job’ upskilling, but also to confirm their dedication to making a difference to the community.
Not only can you gain work experience and learn new skills, you can also benefit from new social and cultural skills including developing and building your confidence.
Studies have even shown how volunteering can provide us a healthier and happier life and increase our sense of purpose.
Organisations that run with the help of volunteers have found that there is an improvement in quality of life for their clients. In addition, volunteers continue to increase awareness of important issues of the community for which they volunteer.
My Personal Journey with Volunteering
After my divorce when my child was settled into school, I chose to return to study and enrol into a youth work qualification.
Through one of my placements, I was required to complete, I was blessed to land a volunteer youth worker position within a housing program for young people.
Being a mature age youth worker, it had its benefits in a lot of ways. I was seen as ‘safe’ to come and have a chat to.
I developed my skills as a youth worker quickly, and was rewarded with being named ‘Volunteer of the Year’ within the organisation.
This was a validation that I was definitely on the right track for my career.
I went onto successfully achieve casual and ultimately full-time employment from making a phone call and asking a simple question:
Do you have any openings as a volunteer youth worker?
If you would like to learn more about volunteering please click here for the checklist for volunteers.
Blogging GEMS program
This Blog is a part of the Blogging GEMS program, which supports domestic violence survivors to practise the self-care strategies of Gratitude, Exercise, Mindfulness, Support, and Service (GEMS). As they practise the strategies, they blog about it.you can read their survivor GEMS Blogs:
Mindfulness Meditation Blogs: