Unexpected Benefits You Get From Active Community Involvement

Community service may sound like hard work and some may even see it as a form of punishment. Yet undeniably, once you realize the positive impact that your action can do to society, it can also be one of the most fulfilling and enriching experiences. Since you do it primarily to help others or give back, it is easy to assume that all the benefits solely pour on the side of society while you get nothing out of it.

It might then come as a surprise that community involvement can offer a multitude of wonderful rewards that can tremendously enhance your life. If you are yet to take an active role in community service, the following unexpected benefits you can get from doing it may just provide the motivation you need:

Improves Physical Health & Well-being

It may not seem so obvious but active community involvement can bring tons of health benefits. Some volunteer work can be tiring but it provides a form of exercise that can reduce stress levels and prevent many diseases. Furthermore, to know that your effort, no matter how small, can greatly contribute to the betterment of the community can be a source of pride and achievement. This wonderful sense of accomplishment results in a happier disposition which in turn leads to better health. The conclusion of years of research done by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) indicate that volunteer activities have a positive correlation with lower chances for depression and lower mortality rates.

Widens Your Skills & Knowledge

The need for continuous learning is essential if you want to move forward in life. Fortunately, altruistic activities can be an avenue for free education. Some organizations provide volunteers with training so you get to increase awareness and knowledge on a certain cause and may also acquire new skills in the process. You may also discover a good way to share your talents with the community if you offer help for a certain cause that is related to your interests.

Builds Up Your Resume

Students who choose to devote their free time to community activities increases their chance to land a high-paying job later on. Moreover, affiliations in reputable organizations is a clever way to beef-up your resume when you are a fresh graduate with no past employment. The claim that community involvement makes you more attractive to employers is backed up by research. In 2009, a UK-based organization, TimeBack, formed a partnership with Reed, a recruitment agency, to conduct a survey on how employers view charitable activities. The study revealed that 84% think charitable activities help job seekers get hired. Likewise, more than 70% of employers believe that that volunteer experience increases the chance for promotion and salary increase.

May Open Up Travel Opportunities

You only want to offer whatever assistance you can give to a cause but you may end up going places and experiencing new things as well. Travel privileges is indeed a possibility if you are really committed to offer your services. At the same time, the opportunity to be in a new environment and meet new people can broaden your mind and perspective on things.

Grow Your Network of Friends

Getting out there and immersing yourself in the community is an effective way to meet people who share your same interests and passion. They say, true friends are hard to find – but you may not find it so difficult if you regularly participate in community outreach activities.

We are all a vital part of the society we live in so in a way, we are all required to contribute something for the betterment of the community. This responsibility may sound challenging but participating in community activities is a win-win situation – the society benefits and you get rewarded as well.

Jim and Bobbie PuryearUnexpected Benefits You Get From Active Community Involvement
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Life Lessons I Learned From Coaching Youth Sports

Youth sports coaches come from a variety of different sports backgrounds, with various levels of knowledge within their game of choice. When signing up for the role, all coaches are aware of the effect they may have on each individual child athlete’s development. From physical skill, to work ethic, to sportsmanship, many of these attributes fall into the hands of the coach. But what about the effect that coaching has on the adult coach themselves? The benefits of coaching youth sports go beyond getting involved within your community and enjoying consistent exercise. The benefits I received from coaching have forever changed my life, and how I live each day.

Here are five life lessons that I learned from being a youth sports coach:

Keep Life In Perspective

Coaching allows you the opportunity to work with children from a variety of different upbringings and backgrounds. Some of the players come from very low-income families, while others may live lavishly. Because of this, I am always grateful for all that I have and remind myself how fortunate I am every day. However, when the players run out to the field, all differences are thrown aside and they are there to play the game. It is important to remember that is just a game. It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose. What does matter is that you enjoy playing the sport and that you find a value in current experiences balanced with the value of future opportunities– even when that includes a loss. In life off the field, I’ve learned that you must maintain the same perspective of value from experience as well as keeping balance so you don’t get consumed by one thing.

The Value Of A Good Hustle And Hard Work

You know the saying, “Good things come to those who hustle,” I would like to revise it to say, “Good things come to those who hustle and work hard.” The two go together. If you hustle that means you are going 100% all the way through. Combine that with the attributes of hard work such as, time, discipline, and commitment and you will see achieve your goals or even surpass them. Take baseball for example, when at bat, you don’t want to just reach first base, you want to run with everything you’ve got and go through the base. Whether your goals are sports-related, personal, or professional, the same idea applies. I’ve also found that when faced with an obstacle, you must exhibit the same hard work and 100% effort, to push through the challenge and persevere in order continue moving forward.

Be Ready For Anything At Anytime

As a coach, you must be ready and able to quickly adapt to always changing situations. Say a player gets injured during the game or the opposing team is continuously beating your defensive scheme. Using quick, flexible thinking, you need to present a new idea or solution. Outside the sports arena, you will be presented with new opportunities at any time, in relation to work, personal, community-driven, or even faith-related possibilities. When one door opens you don’t want to be skipped over because you are not prepared. If you are open minded and ready to step up when called upon, then you will feel confident to jump at any chance that you are presented with.

Play with Character And Integrity

Being a good teammate means that you respect and support your fellow teammates, opponents, and coaches. A coach’s responsibility in promoting respect amongst players helps build each player’s overall character and helps them recognize to play with integrity. To do this, a coach must first and foremost be the example—exhibit sportsmanship, keep your emotions in check and display humility. Sportsmanship, composure and being humble all lay the foundation of a player’s character. Integrity goes beyond playing fairly regarding rules, it also includes playing honestly towards teammates. This is done by putting forth 100% in your play, support, and morale, not only for yourself but also for your fellow players. Playing with character and integrity spills over into your dynamic in relationships in general. You create relationships based on attractive qualities in someone’s character and maintain them with integrity between both people.

The Process And People Matter The Most

When you look back at your own experience in childhood sports, you most likely don’t remember the number of wins and losses you had, but you do remember the journey and the people that contributed along the way. As a coach, it’s your job to teach the fundamentals of the sport so that players understand fully how to play. You teach them how to overcome obstacles, how to dribble a ball, how to communicate, and how to hit a home run to achieve a common goal. It is important to recognize the moving pieces and people in other aspects of life; the lessons learned along the way and how they have contributed to where you are today. The act of serving others and its importance can be learned from this experience. Try to be a part of other’s processes and journeys and make a positive difference in who they are as a person.

Learning from life experiences is one of the best tools of education available to us. By coaching youth sports in the community, you are invested in making a difference in the lives of your young athletes. Little did I know, as a coach, that I would, in turn, see a difference in my life and learn so many positive life lessons.

Jim and Bobbie PuryearLife Lessons I Learned From Coaching Youth Sports
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Why Volunteering in Your Community Should Be a Family Affair

When it comes to volunteering in your community as a family, there’s nothing better than doing good together. It allows your family to actively participate in experiences that directly impact other people in your community. There are many opportunities for learning, connection and personal growth when you volunteer — especially when you get your kids involved. While it might seem like a big task to get your family to come together for volunteer time, here’s why you should make the extra effort.

Service Strengthens Your Community

Volunteering truly does make a big difference. And when you volunteer within your immediate community, you help to build it up and strengthen it. Joining a community clean-up helps beautify your surrounding neighborhood and reduce crime, building up those who live there. This is just one example of volunteerism that you can easily do with the entire family regardless of age. In addition, it creates engagement between your family and those in your community. This often result in building direct, personal relationships with those you are helping.

It Teaches Your Kids Important Values

For us, instilling a shared responsibility and ownership for improving your community and those around you are important values to teach our children. It is powerful to for your children to know they can truly make a difference and improve the wellbeing of those in their community. Oftentimes after we are done with our volunteer work, we take time as a family to discuss what we have learned from our experience and what we enjoyed most. Make it a point to discuss this with your children after your acts of service — their answers and reflections on their experiences might surprise you in a great way.

You Get To Spend Time Together

An added bonus of volunteering is that you get to spend important, quality time with your entire family. What can be better than sharing time with those you love while doing important and valuable work? Working with one another for a common cause strengthens your family bond. It can help put a lot of what you view as stressors in life into perspective and teach your children to value what they have in life. Volunteering puts you and your family in a new setting, with an inspiring goal to help others that can lead to very positive experiences and memories.

While the topic of service and volunteering isn’t something that comes to mind when thinking about family activities, there’s no denying the positive impact it can have. It helps bring your family closer together, teaches valuable lessons and instills important values in your children. There’s nothing better than making a difference while spending quality time with the entire family. And aside from the important aspects of volunteering — it is fun!

Jim and Bobbie PuryearWhy Volunteering in Your Community Should Be a Family Affair
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How to Serve Others When You Can’t Find the Time

The most common misconception people have when it comes to giving back to others is that there is never enough time in a day to get everything checked off your to-do list, take care of yourself and your family, and still have enough time to give back to the community. The truth is, however, that giving back to the community doesn’t have to be a time-consuming activity. While offering your time to serving others is no doubt one of the most effective ways to help those in need, it is not the only way. Read on to find out just how you can give back to your community when your life gets too busy and you just can’t find the time.

Smile

They say, “a smile speaks a thousand words,” and they aren’t wrong.  A smile is such a simple and easy gesture, but you’ll never know how much it can turn someone’s day around. Smiling is more than just a facial expression. It communicates your attitude and your intention to spread your positive mindset to others. Trust us on this one––your smile holds the magic to change someone else’s day for the better, and that is a great way to serve others. 

Brown bag it

Next time you run to the store, pick up a few more items to pack for a brown-bag lunch or any kind of care package you can carry around with you in the car. Think peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches, protein bars, snack bags, deodorant sticks, toothbrushes, etc. Anything you can think of that can easily be transported around until you run into someone in need. This simple service doesn’t require you to devote hours of your time, but can make the world of a difference for someone in need.

Make service a part of your business culture

Partner with a cause that your business can get involved with to offer talent, products, or financial support. Organize a company-wide service day where your company volunteers a day to serve others in your community. This is an easy way to make a service a part of your everyday life and makes worlds of change in the community around you.

Support causes that support others

Whenever possible, buy your products from companies that donate a percentage of what you spend to a specific charity, cause, or mission. In doing so, you still get exactly what you need and you help others in the process.

Try any of these four tips to make a difference in your community––even if you don’t think you have the time. We know life can seem packed with busy schedules and unchecked to-do lists, but we promise you’ll have time for these easy ways to serve others.

Jim and Bobbie PuryearHow to Serve Others When You Can’t Find the Time
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How Serving Others Can Affect Your Personal and Business Life

Anne Frank was no older than 15 when she wrote: “No one has ever become poor by giving.” Although this phrase is short and seemingly simple, the meaning and truth it carries speak well beyond her years and to the very essence of our morality as humans. And if she can recognize this fundamental fact of morality at such a young age, then we should be able to understand this truth and practice it day-in and day-out through our service to others.

Often times when people think of serving and giving to others, large donations of money and resources immediately come to mind. And while these kinds of donations do indeed make large differences in the lives of others, it is not what service, at its heart, entails. Instead, our obligation to serve others involves sacrificing our time and energy to benefit the lives of others. It’s the idea that those of us who are fortunate enough to be blessed with more talents and resources should give back by selflessly serving others in need.

But, how does serving others make you a more well-rounded person in both your personal and business life? Read on to find out how sacrificing your own talents and resources in service to others can affect your fundamental life skills.

Serving others is a source of personal fulfillment.

Serving others is one of the greatest paradoxes of life because, although the very act of giving requires a personal sacrifice, we end up gaining so much more in return. We’ve all heard about the gift of giving and maybe even experienced the joys that come with giving something to others. It’s a heightened sense of gratification you experience in the other person’s delight that leaves you feeling more fulfilled. And experiencing a greater source of fulfillment naturally motivates you to be more proactive in both your personal and business lives.

Serving others breaks down stereotypes.

It’s easy to jump to conclusions about people we’ve never had a conversation with because we haven’t had the chance to hear their story. When interacting with others and serving people who most likely live a life worlds away from your own, you expose yourself to a variety of different kinds of people, and you hear about real-life problems you would have never imagined. In doing so, you gain a true glimpse of how other people live, and the stereotypes you have spent your life building naturally begin to break down. This new mentality will open your mind to other aspects of your life as well and will benefit you just as you are benefitting someone else.

Serving others puts your problems into perspective.

When we live our lives so trapped inside our own needs and schedules, it becomes second-nature to turn a small setback into a tragic catastrophe. However, when working with and serving people whose problems likely far outweigh your own, it becomes easier to situate your own life into perspective. Learning about the complications of other people’s hardships makes it possible for us to return to our own work and personal life with a refreshed and reassured outlook.

Whether you’re serving at a local soup kitchen or are traveling overseas, the act of serving others will benefit you in all areas of your life. Take the time to give back and become a more successful, well-rounded leader.

Jim and Bobbie PuryearHow Serving Others Can Affect Your Personal and Business Life
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