The Benefits of Volunteering

Since my sophomore year of high school, I have been actively involved in a variety of animal welfare groups. We’ve all seen those sad Sarah McLaughlin commercials, but a lot of college students are not in a financial situation that allows them to call and donate. Between school, work, and our social lives, it is almost impossible to find time to volunteer. However, the good news is that it doesn’t take much time to make a difference. Just a few hours a week can make a tremendous impact on most causes.

Whether you are interested in helping animals, the environment, or people, there is something for everyone. If you’re not sure what volunteer opportunities your community has to offer, take a look at

My passion for volunteering started when I joined a community service group at my high school called “Paws for a Cause”. This was a group that collected donations for the SPCA and we walked and feed the dogs and cats once a month. After this, I continued to volunteer at the SPCA outside of school for a few months. Then I decided to move on to a smaller shelter in Chester, PA called Forgotten Cats. After a few months there, I moved to the Animal Coalition of Delaware County, or ACDC, which specialized in getting fostered animals into forever homes. I have been with ACDC for 2 years now and will continue to do so for as long as I can.

Forgotten Cats, 2014

As cliché as it sounds, I feel like volunteering has helped me grow as a person. Not only does volunteering give you a sense of purpose, it makes you genuinely happy. Although the whole idea of volunteering is to help others, it can in turn help you feel good about yourself, gain motivation, and advance certain skills.

ACDC, 2016

In addition to developing social and career skills, volunteering can also be a fun activity. Who doesn’t want to spend time playing with animals all day? Or maybe, you enjoy spending time with kids, so you apply to help out in a classroom once a week. Whatever, your interests, there is a volunteer opportunity for everyone and the benefits are well worth the time.