Since my days as a youth group leader, volunteering is something I just always have done. I was always lucky to have a job where I was at work early and out early, so my afternoons and evenings were free. It was that luxury of free time that allowed me to fill it by serving others. I can’t explain the urge to serve, other than having a volunteer spirit.
The volunteer spirit is what led me to the First Tee. A friend of mine had kids in the program and suggested that I look into it. It seemed like a good fit – I had years of experience working with kids and had a good understanding of the golf swing. So, in 2013, I took the leap of faith to volunteer as an assistant coach. A few summers later, I was given the opportunity to be the lead coach at South Park. Of course I had my doubts about my ability to lead a clinic. It was a big step for me. In all of my volunteer experiences, I was always an assistant or complementary part of a team, but never the one leading the group. But as in taking on any new experience, fear of the unknown soon gets trampled with time and experience.
Some things to consider about volunteering:
- Volunteerism improves health by strengthening the body, improving mood, and lessening stress in participants.
- 60% of hiring managers see the act of volunteerism as a valuable asset when making recruitment decisions, according to a study performed by Career Builder.
- 92% of human resource executives agree that volunteering for a nonprofit can improve an employee’s leadership skills.
- Volunteers constitute about 90 percent of the American Red Cross workforce.
- Volunteers are worth on average $24.14 an hour according to an Independent Sector Study.
Knowing what it takes, I am always thankful for the time our volunteers give us. I can relate to the initial insecurity that is felt when beginning the journey as an assistant coach. But I also know that time brings both experience and growth and that leads to an increased sense of confidence and self worth. Simply put, knowing that you are making a difference makes a difference – in how you see yourself, the world around you, and your place in it.
To learn more about volunteering your time with First Tee of Pittsburgh, CLICK HERE.
Submitted by Coach Jeff Lebedda, Southern Regional Manager