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How to get involved in volunteering?

In the blog series ”Volunteering is diamond”, we publish articles on volunteering by students who study volunteer leadership at the HUMAK Open University of Applied Sciences.   

In my childhood, I got a comprehensive model to participate in various forms of volunteering. My father and mother actively took part in the functions of various clubs. My first experience of volunteering is actually washing dishes in moose hunters´ ball. This memory stays as a good experience in my heart. It´s nice to help people in need.

In my childhood, we used to collect funds for my hobby by volunteering. We organized sales, carried out small tasks and performed in different events. Moving away from the district I used to live in as a child broke relationships with familiar people and organizations. Since then, time has passed while studying, working and living everyday life with my children.

One of the motives of volunteering is the desire to help other people. In my own life, I am a nurse and I take care of my children. If my life situation were different, would I be more likely to gravitate towards volunteering to help other people?

” When you don´t have time and/or nobody asks you to join in.”

Research has shown that half of all people are not involved in volunteering because no one has asked them to join in, or they don´t have time. Half of these people could still participate in volunteering if someone asked them to. (Rahkonen 2018, 13 – 16.) Recently, my own reason has certainly been a lack of time. On the other hand, would I still participate in volunteering actively, if my previous relationships with different associations hadn’t been broken?

The character of volunteering is perhaps changing towards more and more short-term volunteering instead of long-term commitment. I myself could consider getting involved in short-time and occasional volunteering in the midst of a busy everyday life. I have been thinking about forms of volunteering that I could do together with my small children. Then again, volunteering should offer something different from my everyday life. At the same time, it would be nice to be able to teach my own children to appreciate volunteering.

I have occasionally searched the internet for volunteer activities in my neighborhood. However, I have never registered to these activities. Perhaps, in the end, I should find someone to ask me to come along. 

Text: Reea Vanhatalo

During the academic year 2018–2019, the author studied volunteer leadership at the HUMAK Open University of Applied Sciences.

Read more: Rahkonen, J. 2018. Research report. Volunteering in Finland.

Translation: Kati Merikoski

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