Qualities of a good volunteer – we all have something to offer
While you think you may have nothing of value to offer, we at Safe House have learned over the years, that every volunteer, by just making themselves available, makes a huge difference in the lives of women and children who find themselves under our roof.
You could spend time with the women just chatting to them, talking about books, praying with them, teaching them how to budget, doing crafts, sewing, knitting, or even teaching them to cook! Other workplace skills, such as computer literacy, interviewing, CV writing and so on are also much needed.
Here’s an outline of some the qualities that we look for in our volunteers.
Being energetic and having a positive attitude can help to motivate yourself and others. Enthusiasm for the cause can also help to nudge others to take action. Being aware of others and treating everybody with respect is important. Helping to support all members of the group can only bring about successful results faster. Enthusiastic people always tend to stir those around them to positive action.
There are various positions that need filling at a moment’s notice. So volunteering can be a different experience every day, because of the varying needs at any given time. One day you could be packing boxes and the next day driving a lady to court. This type of work requires many skills and a volunteer needs to be prepared to grow and learn from the experience. Gaining a variety of skill sets can be a valuable add on to any resume.
You should be able to follow through on your commitment. All charity organisations rely on their volunteers to be successful. Beneficiaries of the organisation – in our case the women and children are looking forward to the volunteers visit. A volunteer should be able to be on time and do their work so that they can produce the best results for the organisation. Punctuality is also a very important thing to learn and can be applied in all life circumstances, it shows your respect for others. Obviously life does happen and things get in the way, but honesty should then be the first policy.
Creative and passionate
Creativity and being passionate about an issue will bring a bit of fun and excitement into the environment. Volunteering can sometimes be stressful and it can be exhausting, creativity just adds that extra spark when needed. Sometimes doing the same thing day in and day out can get a bit boring. Adding some creative flare can brighten things up a bit. We found that a little creativity sparks a wonderful letting out of emotions through art.
Work hard and be honest with everybody. You should be able to take responsibility for your work, especially if you did something incorrectly. Know your limits and ask for help when you need it. Volunteering has served as a job referral already for many who have assisted us in the past.
Volunteering involves many workers who are trying to reach the same goals you are. A volunteer should be able to work well in a team. You should be able to follow orders without complaining. If you show initiative you might also be able to grow your leadership skills.
A volunteer should be able to listen and communicate well. Being able to talk to your fellow co-workers and listen to them attentively can only make things go more smoothly and successfully without misunderstandings. It is important to also be able to handle constructive criticism where something needs to be improved.
Good organisational skills
Since there is usually so much work to do, it is great to possess some good organisational skills. Tasks just become easier to complete and more manageable. Everybody is not running around and doing their own thing. Working together as a cohesive team will get the job done.