“If nature has made you a giver, your hands are born open and so is your heart; and though there may be times when your hands are empty, your heart is always full …” Frances Hodgson Burnett
Research shows that volunteering makes us happy and brings us great satisfaction. It provides an intrinsic reward that is far more valuable than the gift. It makes us feel good and creates moments of happiness for others, especially those who cannot repay us for our kindness!
One of my earliest and fondest memories of happiness as a child was my first day in secondary school. I met a helpless student on the street on my way back from school crying because she was hungry. I bought ‘Okpa’ (a local Igbo snack) for her. Suddenly, I felt a happy warmth spread all over my inner being and I had an immense sense of accomplishment – that I had ‘HELPED SOMEONE’!
Now looking back, I realize that that experience shaped my journey as a volunteer. It has helped me as a member of the Keeping It Real (KIR) Foundation team to promote quality education for children in underserved Community/Public Primary Schools. Children like Charity, a primary 4 Pupil of UPE Abuloma II in Rivers State, Nigeria. Charity was very excited and happy when she got her first storybook during the KIR Foundation World Children’s Day Special Reading Session and Back2School Project. Once more, like all other times, joy spread all over me and I truly felt blessed to have been instrumental in Charity’s happiness!
The way I feel is backed by research; which shows that doing something for others creates a dopamine rush in the body that makes us feel alive and happy. I am a living testimony of this theory and I believe When life throws you a lot of trouble, an easy, yet noble way to tackle it is by helping others. It will make you a better person and the world a kinder place.
The good news is that helping others is not that difficult – all it takes is a kind heart and a little bit of time. The world can never get enough help or happiness and our amazing volunteers have shown us this by making a positive difference by inspiring change through reading to over 33,500 children in our 59 Reading Corners in 35 States in Nigeria and Federal Capital Abuja in the past 1 year.
International Volunteer Day is celebrated on the 5th of December annually to recognize and promote the tireless work, not just of UN Volunteers, but of volunteers across the globe. KIR Foundation will on Saturday the 3rd of December, train and build the technical capacity of our volunteers, honour, appreciate and give back to our hardworking volunteers who have supported and strengthened the impact of KIR Foundation’s Book Drive Campaign and other projects.
The KIR Foundation team deeply appreciates our amazing #volunteers – the ones who are at the heart of our projects!
We #love you!
We appreciate you
We celebrate you!