Do you pay the price when you volunteer?

Volunteer work has value that cannot be accounted for in dollars, as it benefits both the volunteer and his cause mutually.

Whether physical labor or social services, the initiative to give a helping hand not only shapes a better world, but also shapes a better you. The work ethic and humanity gained through volunteer work are humbling opportunities for internal growth.

Community service often involves working with people of all types and therefore helps refine communication skills and give exposure to different world perspectives that people bring from their experiences.

Like all choices worthwhile, it is not always easy. Community service may be physically and emotionally draining, and often does not come with instant gratification. Volunteers may be exposed to difficult angles of the world (the parts that needs outside help) through long and busy hours of unpaid work. Nevertheless, if the value of the work is taken to account, the opportunity cost can be overcome. The time, effort and desire to offer services with no compensation is something that is not taken for granted by those you impact.

“Working in my community has given me happiness in helping others. Seeing the smile on kids’ faces makes me smile back. I am also learning how everyone is different, and it’s okay to handle new situations,” senior Dani Blieden said.

Blieden has been volunteering in the Friendship Circle for many successful years.

Community service also brings valuable recognition in college and job applications. Colleges view dedicated volunteers as well-rounded members of society, granting them an upper hand in the application process. Additionally, volunteering may open up doors for the discovery of passions and specialities that can be carried to the work force.

Junior Dana Dagan has been volunteering year round and said she feels that it has helped push her in the direction of her future.

“I discovered through helping at HOAG and in my Jewish youth group that I work well with people, and I am a capable leader. This has pointed me towards the medical field in the future. [Volunteering] is anything but a waste of time,” Dana said.

Volunteer work is a strong method of giving back, and time spent engaging in it by each individual adds up to make a huge collective impact.

In California, “966.3 million hours of service” were given in the year of 2014, according to

Volunteerism is one of the greatest pillars of humanity, as it stands for selflessness, contribution to important causes and work ethic that promote a sense of community and humbility. Ultimately, the small sacrifice that comes with volunteering is far overcome by the growth and opportunity it brings.