Have you ever volunteered? If you've ever done something for someone else without receiving payment for it, then, yes, you've volunteered!

Volunteering means doing something for others or working for a cause without payment for your time or services. Basically, it's working for free.

But isn't the whole reason for work built on the idea of doing it for money…and hopefully for as much as possible?

Not always! Some people simply feel the urge to promote good causes or help improve the lives of others. Such people are altruistic, which means they do things selflessly, with no thought for their own benefit.

Not all volunteering has to be altruistic, though. Some people volunteer because of the benefits they receive from it. And guess what? That's OK, too!

How can you benefit from working for free? There are a lot of ways.

Some people volunteer to gain skills they might need in the future. For example, if you want to be a doctor or a nurse some day, you could volunteer at a hospital and learn more about the working lives of doctors and nurses.

Others volunteer to meet new people with similar interests. For example, volunteering to help a local church group build a house for someone less fortunate might allow you to meet other nice people who might one day become good friends.

Still others volunteer just because it's fun. Working for free can be fun? It sure can! Get a group of friends together to wash cars in your neighborhood for free, and just see how much fun you have.

People from all walks of life volunteer their time in many different ways. Sometimes people volunteer in areas they work in, such as hospitals (medicine) or schools (education). Others choose to volunteer in response to specific events, such as natural disasters like tornadoes or floods.

Do you have volunteers at your school? Most schools would have a hard time running smoothly without the help of volunteers.

If your school has a parent-teacher organization (PTO), then you have a solid group of volunteers working hard to make sure your school is the best it can be. When you see people helping out at school, make sure to thank them!

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We hope you catch a glimpse of tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day before it takes flight!