The Greek philosopher Aristotle once said that the essence of life is “to serve others and do good”. Mahatma Gandhi said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Volunteering can help you make friends, learn new skills, advance your career and even feel happier and healthier. It can also reduce stress, combat depression and provide a sense of purpose.

Chambers of Commerce have been in existence for over 400 years. And after all the centuries many people still do not know what a Chamber is. A Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit and non-governmental institution whose goal is to further the interests of businesses. Overall the local chamber works to improve the overall quality of life in the community. At the core of how a chamber of commerce operates is through volunteering.

Any nonprofit is only as strong as its volunteer base, and the Chamber is no different. Our exceptional volunteers utilize their skills, time and talents to benefit the community. They meet new people and gain new skills.

Participating in the local Chamber through membership and volunteering results in getting to know and work with like-minded people outside of their businesses and having a better understanding of the issues the greater community is faced with. A survey on local Chambers was conducted and the one thing that inspires people to get involved in the opportunities to give back to the community.

The Top Five reasons business people Volunteer:

  • To improve my community
  • To help the common good
  • To support something, I am passionate about
  • To feel connected to the community
  • It makes me happy

Equally important to note is that the #1 reason people don’t volunteer is that “they were never asked”

There are many benefits to volunteering for your local chamber. Besides meeting new people, there is great value in learning new skills. The incentive for volunteering is to career advancement. Volunteering for the local chamber provides you with the opportunity to learn leadership, communication, teamwork, problem-solving, planning and organization skills.

Volunteering shows that you have the initiative to current and prospective employers. When businesses encourage employees to volunteer it helps with employee morale and retention.

Volunteers are critical to the success of the programs and events of the Chamber. One of the misconceptions people believe is that volunteering will consume their free time. Many hands make light work. The most often thing the volunteers are asked to do is to make a few telephone calls or send some emails to their contacts and attend monthly meetings.

Some ways to get the most out of volunteering include:

  • Ask questions – be sure you know what is involved and what is expected.
  • Contribute to the planning – your opinion matters
  • Have fun!

There are many opportunities to volunteer, from being an ambassador to sitting on a board or directors. Don’t forget to check the JustServe App for other opportunities in the area.

“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.” – Author Unknown

Cheryl Viola, Executive Director