Volunteer Early. Volunteer Often.

Guest Submission by Maddison Lange. Maddison is the current Miss Muscatine, and the local titleholder in the Miss Iowa Scholarship Program (the Miss America Program).

Since I was a young girl, I have spent a lot of time volunteering and giving back to my community.  Growing up in small town Southern Iowa, fresh opportunities were abundant! From this young age I became involved with programs such as Meals on Wheels, Angels Hands, JDRF, and spent time volunteering at nursing homes.  Both of my parents have always been involved in the community and pushed me to be the same way. From attending volunteer events with me to scheduling other opportunities, my parents were the perfect role models.

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A lot of people ask, why volunteer? Not only are you benefiting the people around you by volunteering, but you better yourself. From a young age volunteering taught me how to understand other people’s lives, how to solve problems, how to think outside the box, and many more. The time I have spent volunteering have helped me to develop skills such as leadership, communication, dependability, time management, decision making, and responsibility. As a college student and future employee, these skills are essential. Moreover, volunteering builds character and is extremely therapeutic.

As I continue to volunteer and stress volunteering to others, I have noticed four major benefits:

  1. Connection to others
  2. Networking and Career Skills
  3. Mental and Physical Health
  4. FUN

Volunteering allows you to connect to many other people and make new friends. About 1/3 of my friends have been made through volunteering or a similar event! Additionally, a volunteering event can help you explore your career area of interest and work on your skills in that area. So not only can you learn new skills, but you can branch out into that industry! Numerous benefits can be seen in the mind and body from volunteering. For example, I have noticed decreased stress and anxiety and increased happiness and self-confidence. Last, but certainly not least, volunteering is FUN! This can be an energizing way to escape your day-to-day activities and do something you are passionate about.

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Volunteer Iowa would like to thank Maddison for writing this blog, and let you all know that she will be writing more for us in the future!  She will be competing for Miss Iowa in June, so follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MissMuscatine2017/ and on Twitter at @Lange_13. 

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