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The Value of Volunteering

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“Doing nothing for others is the undoing of ourselves” – Horace Mann

Our volunteering program here at HSFA is crucial to the wellbeing of the people under our care. We would therefore like to honour International Volunteer Day that takes place on 5 December. The day serves as a platform for the celebration of the efforts of volunteers, the underlining of the importance of volunteerism and the mobilisation of volunteers globally. In line with this, we thought it apt to use this opportunity to highlight the value of volunteering in communities in general and among the elderly population specifically.

Volunteering is beneficial in a variety of ways. It is a service to the nation as it lifts certain financial and social burdens off the government and it improves the quality of life in societies. Volunteers help organisations with limited budgets or staff (like NPOs or NGOs) to stay afloat and flourish. Where volunteering takes place, there is increased participation at grassroots level which is crucial to sustainable development. Moreover, volunteering enriches the lives of the recipients thereof and also of the volunteers themselves.

Value for volunteers

A volunteer is somebody who freely offers to deliver a service or undertake a task without getting paid for it. It is thus a person who is willing to make sacrifices to make a difference. However, volunteering is not without benefits for the volunteer. Some of these include:

A sense of wellbeing and purpose derived from giving of yourself and your resources Self-growth gained through serving and broadening your horizons Skills development and experience - always a plus on a CV! Inspirational social contact and networking opportunities with the management, staff, other volunteers and beneficiaries of the volunteering services at a given organisation Improving the community in which you live and might grow old yourself

Value for the elderly

As we advance in years, often our challenges and needs also become “advanced”. However, it also means that we probably have advanced inner resources to offer society. Volunteers at residences for the aged – such as HSFA – can help to fulfil some of these unique needs and provide opportunities for this special population to continue with a purpose-filled and productive life in their old age.

Benefits for the elderly recipients of volunteering may include:

An antidote to the loneliness that often plagues the aged Options for hobbies and recreational activities to help combat boredom and monotony Opportunities to keep their bodies and minds active which is hugely beneficial to mental, physiological and psychological health and wellbeing Increased sense of worth and purpose Practical help with certain challenges of old age An improved and more pleasant living environment Opportunities to enrich the lives of other citizens through sharing from their wealth of knowledge, life experience and skills Continued development of their interests and abilities Moral support to face the hardships of the latter years.

The HSFA’s volunteering program

From HSFA’s side, we would like to give our heartfelt thanks to all our dedicated volunteers! Your contribution to our organisation and residents is priceless.

If you are interested in volunteering at HSFA, please take a moment to look at our Volunteering Program and consider joining us for our next Volunteer Information Session, which takes place on the second Tuesday of every month. Come experience how it could add value to your own and others’ lives! We would love to have you on board.

Learn more about the HSFA at http://hsfa.org.za/

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Guest Wednesday, 20 September 2017

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