In honor of #VolunteerWeek, many members of our wild web women community have posted beautiful images and social media posts about volunteering and service, enough so, that I too was inspired to post about the topic.

Volunteer work is not something I feel is an option, it’s a requirement. My volunteer work began as a Girl Scout. At a young age, I served in retirement homes to get a badge, then enjoyed it so much, I continued doing volunteer work with the elderly during elementary school all through high school. I learned how small actions like visiting others could make a big difference. In college, I did pet assisted therapy through the Humane Society, taking pets who needed socialization to retirement homes where the residents needed furry friend attention. Outside of my corporate jobs in my 20’s, I did volunteer work in the community, co-chairing children’s fairs, coordinating events for seniors and volunteering with homeless children. Today, I volunteer at my daughter’s school and for various nonprofit organizations in my community.

“Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy.
You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.”

—Unknown

When I read this quote, I felt a virtual smack in the face. Yes, volunteer work is altruistic, but it’s also a way to support what you value and help support the kind of world you want to live in. My service projects have not only helped others, but they have made my life so rich. You gain when you give!

Give to Gain! Volunteer! Click here to tweet this!

Some of the volunteer work I did early in my career (back in my corporate days) was with a coworker named Kelly McCormick. We worked together at a web technology company in the early 2000’s, and also did volunteer work together. I really liked working with her, but I realized how much I LOVED working with her when we were in volunteer roles. I got to see a side of her that really let her true personality shine. I gave my time to volunteer, and I also gained a really wonderful friend. This friend got married (now Kelly Kohen) and started her family and thankfully after she took a little time off work, agreed to help me with my new business (she agreed to help “temporarily” in 2006 when I started my digital marketing agency and has been a wild web woman with me ever since!). Life is funny sometimes, but I believe that everything happens for a reason. Volunteering allows me to be around people who share similar values. I have architected an amazing community by giving value via service and meeting wonderful people who have service-centric values.

Volunteer week helps voice the power of giving back.

I believe EVERY week should be volunteer week, but I appreciate this observance, as it provides an opportunity to reflect on the volunteer work that you do, or want to do as well as thank others for their volunteerism. I am also amazingly thankful for my flexible work schedule thanks to my web-based business that allows me to work AND volunteer. Kelly wrote a great post about this too called Working from Home and Following Your Passions.

Volunteerism Fuels You Personally and Professionally. If you’d like to share this, click the share buttons below or click here to tweet this!

Thank you to all the amazing volunteers out there who take the time and energy to be of service to those in need!

P.S. If you are looking for ways to volunteer, check out www.volunteermatch.org.

Lorrie Thomas Ross, MA
The Marketing Therapist® and Wild Web Women® Founder
Of all the things Lorrie imagined she would be someday, Wild Web Woman® was never on the list. But thanks to the wild, wacky and wonderful web, she is living a happy, healthy life and enjoying a lucrative career she loves helping women brand, build and boost their web-based businesses! Read More

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