I started volunteering in the aim of meeting new people but my experiences proved that it is more than that. It helps me to reduce my stress, it keeps me mentally stimulated and it provides me a sense of purpose.
My first volunteer experience in Ireland was when I volunteer for the Special Olympics Ireland which was conducted in Tallaght, Dublin. My responsibility was to guide the people to the stadium and it was very satisfying for me. The people were so happy to see us volunteers helping them to reach the stadium. Their smile of gratitude was more than money for me. I understood that the act of kindness, how small is that is never wasted. I recommend all the people to volunteer because it will never disappoint you.
Growing up in a large family there was always someone that needed help or something that needed doing, so from an early age I've always had the inclination to do what I can to help others. People often ask me why I volunteer and my answer simply is I may not always be able to give money, but I can always give time. I enjoy volunteering as it gives me the opportunity to meet new people from all walks of life while helping out and hopefully making a difference. Giving up a couple of hours of your time may not seem like much but to the people you are helping its means so much.
What I like about being part of the Volunteer Corps is that you don't have to commit yourself to a certain amount of time, you can just sign up for one-off events . You will get an email notification telling you which events are coming up and you then have the choice whether its one that suits you to attend or not. If you are trying to decide whether to become a volunteer or not, I say "Just go for it! It's one decision you won't regret making.
I first volunteered back in 1980 in Tanzania, where I stayed for four years fitting generators to hospitals and schools, whilst teaching apprentices. It was an amazing experience that changed my life and made me appreciate the little things. When I came back to Ireland I did some volunteer work with St. Vincent de Paul in Cork and also the Irish Guide Dogs.