The Benefits of Volunteering

Gabrielle Bossart, Editor

If you find yourself with a lot of free time and are not sure how to spend it productively, consider volunteering in your community. Volunteering is an excellent way to give back to the community, boost self-esteem, and increase overall life-satisfaction. Volunteering benefits both you and the people or organizations you are helping. It gives you the opportunity to do something good for others, actively participate in the betterment of society, and increase your own self-confidence.  

Volunteering is also a great way to meet new people. Oftentimes when you are volunteering, you will be working with other volunteers who can show you the ropes and inspire you to make a positive impact. These like-minded individuals are typically passionate about their community and are great people to connect with. This is especially helpful if you have just moved to a new place and do not know anyone. Volunteering can intimately acquaint you with your new community and you will be able to ask questions of people who live and work in the area.  

No matter how you volunteer, you are using your time to positively impact another person and meaningfully contribute to an important cause. If you are not sure where to volunteer or even where to start, think about something that is important to you or that you are grateful for. Maybe you love animals and would enjoy helping at a humane society or perhaps you are particularly grateful for the comforts of your home and would find joy donating your time and energy at a homeless shelter. Every community can use volunteers, so if you do not have a specific cause in mind, simply search for volunteering opportunities in your area.  

The Grand Forks community itself has many great opportunities for volunteering. Several local nonprofits are always looking for people to help run events, provide transportation, take care of minor chores, and do other various tasks. For example, the Empire Arts Center might be a good fit for you if you have an affinity for the theater or enjoy going to shows. According to their website, the Empire Arts Center is usually looking for volunteers to help with things such as ushering, taking tickets, handing out programs, and cleaning up after events. You can sign up for the newsletter on their website to be kept in the loop about future volunteer opportunities.  

Likewise, the Circle of Friends Humane Society is always looking for people to help with various tasks. Volunteers can provide assistance in the form of socializing the animals, cleaning, sorting donations, doing laundry, dishes, and more. Volunteering at a humane society allows you the opportunity to do your part in helping animals find their forever homes. You can apply to volunteer on the Circle of Friends website. Journey Home Animal Rescue is another local nonprofit that needs volunteers to help with things such as dog walking, running events, fundraising, and transporting animals. You can apply to volunteer on their website as well. 

Ultimately, volunteering is a win-win situation. It helps you feel productive and gives you the joy of knowing that you are improving life for someone else. It also strengthens our communities and provides support for those who need it most. If you have the time and energy for it, volunteer in your community and see firsthand the difference you can make.  

For more information on getting involved in Grand Forks, check out volunteer opportunities on the Grand Forks is Cooler blog:  


Gabrielle Bossart is a Dakota Student Section Editor. She can be reached at [email protected].