"It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Life is busy - family, children, friends, running our own businesses or working for others, continuing education, our health. It's easy to think we are too busy to volunteer, to get involved with causes, even those we whole heartedly support. But...there is more to consider. Volunteering is not a one-way street; the benefits to oneself are real, substantial, and rewarding.

#1 - Connection to others
Is there a better way to make new friends and support old ones than working together to accomplish a goal? Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, strengthen ties to your community, and broaden your support network.

#2 - It's good for your body & mind
Volunteering increases self-confidence, sense of accomplishment, life satisfaction, and happiness. A 2013 Study reports that people who volunteer actually feel better about life and humanity.

#3 - Advance your career
Volunteering is a great path to learn new skills, make business connections, and learn about opportunities. What a great way to hone your skills of teamwork, communication, problem solving, project planning, task management, and organization.

#4 - Fun & fulfillment
For anyone who has volunteered on any APLDWA event, need I say more?

But if an objective source is needed, a London School of Economics study "found the more people volunteered, the happier they were. Compared with people who never volunteered, the odds of being "very happy" rose 7% among those who volunteer monthly and 12% for people who volunteer every two to four weeks. Among weekly volunteers, 16% felt very happy-a hike in happiness comparable to having an income of $75,000-$100,000 versus $20,000."

#5 - Strengthens society/the organization
People who step up are essential to both our larger society and more locally to volunteer organizations. A healthy model has broad based commitment so that each has a role, there is a network of contribution, and none feel over-burdened.

#6 - Giving back
Sometimes we all need a reminder that it's not just about us. It's about giving back to those who came before and assisting the next generation. If you want to make a difference in this world, is there a better way than contributing your time and talents?

APLDWA is a thriving, well-peopled, successful organization with many fantastic volunteer members. Heart-felt appreciations to each of you, for all you do, and the difference you make. And welcome encouragement to any who would like to become more active in the two-way exchange of volunteer involvement in our professional association.

What can you do? There are many ways to become involved. We are actively looking for volunteers for the Northwest Flower and Garden Show to assist with materials acquisition and installation as well as guest writers for our monthly newsletter. We welcome your involvement, so contact us today at contactus@apldwa.org.