Volunteer Day: Seven reasons to volunteer and make a difference

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Volunteering to me is the way to truly understand exclusion, which, in my opinion, is the first step towards social inclusion.

1. Did you know volunteering is good for your health?

Research has shown that volunteering can keep you healthy, mentally and physically. It helps reduce the risk of depression and stress by creating a strong community feeling among those who volunteer. According to an analysis of data from the Longitudinal Study of Aging, volunteering could be linked to a longer, healthier, and happier life. The findings indicate that the mortality rate among people who volunteer is lower compared to that among those who do not.

Volunteer DayCapgemini employees share a light moment during a volunteering activity in Nantes, France.

2. Even a small act can make a big impact

With hectic jobs and demanding schedules, a major challenge is to find the time. But you don’t always need to commit to large projects that are time-intensive. Start small. Even the simplest of actions can have a powerful impact, such as the cinnamon roll day we recently hosted for refugees in Sweden. It helped the local people connect with refugees over a hot coffee and delicious sugary delights.

Volunteer dayOur colleague distributing cinnamon rolls and smiles in Sweden.

3. Teach a skill, learn a skill

Sharing skills is more an exchange than charity. While you teach a skill, you learn much more. I can confirm from personal experience that volunteering has taught me useful soft skills such as teamwork, people skills, and problem-solving. So, if you want to brush up on your own skills, learn a few more and at the same time, do something good, start volunteering now!

Seven reasons to volunteer and make a differenceCapgemini volunteers during a mentoring activity in Atlanta, US.

4. Connect with your community

While the digital revolution has brought us closer virtually, the feeling of isolation is on the rise. Connected devices are a blessing in more ways than we can count, but they fall short when it comes to personal human interaction. Volunteering helps create a strong community feeling and is a great way to understand the challenges faced by people in our immediate surroundings.

Seven reasons to volunteer and make a differenceA Capgemini architect of positive futures during a volunteering event in Stockholm, Sweden.

5. Looking for a sense of purpose?

Working for just a paycheck is no longer enough for many people, especially if you are a millennial. If your day job is not the answer to your longing to be a part of something big, it’s time to find a cause you feel passionate about, and volunteer!

Seven reasons to volunteer and make a differenceCapgemini volunteers refurbishing cellphones for those in need in Paris.

6. And the joy of gifting a smile

There’s been one thing common across all the CSR activities I have hosted or attended so far – the smiling faces after completion. When I need inspiration on a bad day, I revisit the pictures and it works like magic for me. I would strongly recommend it for keeping Monday blues at bay.

Seven reasons to volunteer and make a differenceArchitects of positive futures inspiring young women through the “Girl Who Code” program in the US.

Seven reasons to volunteer and make a differenceVolunteers interact with youth from NGO LP4Y in Mumbai.

7. It is great for your career too

If you are still not convinced, here’s a secret. Engaging in volunteering is good for your career too. It helps you grow your network and improve your soft skills, both believed to be essential for professional success.

Seven reasons to volunteer and make a differenceCapgemini CEO Paul Hermelin with architects of positive futures in Morocco.

The gaping divide in a society driven by existing inequalities cannot be bridged unless those in an advantageous position in the social system, act. Whether fueled by the joy of giving back to the community or the desire to live a healthier, happier life, volunteering is essential for fighting social exclusion and we all have a part to play in it.

At Capgemini, we want to be the bridge between technology and society. To achieve this goal, we are committed to Digital Inclusion, which is a key pillar of our Corporate Social Responsibility program – Architects of Positive Futures.

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