Kevin is a Thursday night math tutor, who has been volunteering at FLOC ever since he moved here from the Midwest a few years ago. During the week, he is an engineer at a company that designs solar panels, but he always had an interest in tutoring. One day, Kevin came across FLOC in the comments section of a Reddit article on volunteering in DC, and the rest is history!
For Kevin, tutoring is a nice change from his day job; he enjoys hanging out with the kids, and being able to give back to the community by volunteering. One of his favorite FLOC memories is from summer tutoring a couple of years ago: Kevin wished his student luck at her upcoming track meet, and she melted his heart by responding, “Good luck at your job! I know you’ll do well because you’re so smart!”
Tutoring at FLOC has helped Kevin to grow both personally and professionally. Professionally, he feels as though he is better able to explain complicated concepts to others outside of the engineering sphere. Personally, Kevin said that he has enjoying gaining a better perspective about his community and a greater appreciation for his own education.
(Samantha Bailey is the Bilingual Recruitment and Outreach Coordinator at FLOC.)
In the beginning of a new year people often make resolutions. Many want to improve their lives as well as the life of others. Engaging in volunteer work is perhaps the best way to do this. Here are 14 reasons why volunteering at For Love of Children (FLOC) should be one of your resolutions for this new year.
14. Give back to the community
When we volunteer in our community we feel the satisfaction of making a difference by helping those in need. It is a good way to support your own community and see the results at first-hand. Many of our volunteers have highlighted this as their main reason to volunteer at FLOC.
13. Work with kids
If you enjoy spending time with kids and youth this is a great opportunity for you. Volunteering at FLOC is a great way to be in a fun and cheerful environment.
12. Grow professionally
Volunteering provides the opportunity to explore new career paths and gain experience in a different field. Many people have discovered their passion while doing volunteer work. A recent report by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) shows that “unemployed individuals who volunteer are 27% more likely to find work than non-volunteers.”
11. Meet new people
Whether you just moved to DC and want to expand your network or you already live in the area and want to improve your social skills, volunteering can help you to make new connections and strengthen your ties to the community.
10. Learn about yourself
When we volunteer we are often exposed to a different environment and we face new challenges. This can help us to learn more about ourselves and discover hidden skills and talents that can be transferred to your personal and professional life.
9. Learn about the community
Providing direct service can help you gain a better understanding of the community that you are serving; including their needs, strengths, limitations and resources.
8. Stay healthy
A report published on 2007 by the CNCS showed that “volunteers are more likely to experience positive health benefits. In fact, serving others may increase longevity, lead to greater functional ability later in life, and strengthen one’s resilience when dealing with health problems.”
7. Increase your self-confidence
Serving others can help boost your sense of accomplishment. When we feel that we are making a difference we feel better about ourselves and the community that we are serving.
6. Help us serve more students
When you volunteer at FLOC, you allow one more student to have the opportunity to improve their reading and math and have the necessary skills to excel in their academic, professional and personal life.
5. Save resources
Your help is needed and valuable. According to a study by the Independent Sector, the estimated value of a volunteer hour in DC is $34.04.
4. Inspire others
Volunteering allows you to inspire others by sharing your knowledge and passion. Whether you love to read or enjoy math you will have a chance to make a positive and lasting impact in the lives of our students.
3. Invest in the future success of the students
One-on-one tutoring is an efficient way for students to improve their competency. On average, only 22 hours of tutoring are needed for students to improve one year in competency.
2. Escape from the routine
Engaging in volunteer work can provide a positive and fun way to escape from the everyday routine. A recent study by the UnitedHealth Group and the Optum Institute revealed that volunteering helps people to manage and lower their stress levels.
1. Find purpose
When we help others we also help ourselves. Dedicating a few hours from our time can make a big difference and help us identify our purpose. This can increase our sense of well-being and bring joy to our lives.
Participating in volunteer work allows you to put into practice your unique skills, ideas and experiences while gaining new perspective and helping others. It certainly benefits you as well as the community that you are serving.