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!


12 Join the Discussion

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars  (8 votes, avg. 4.50 out of 5)
    • What a GREAT attitude to have, kris10a! We’re so glad you stopped by Wonderopolis today to let everyone know some of the reasons why volunteering is AWESOME! Thank you! :-)

  1. Hello Wonderopolis!
    I really liked today’s wonder.
    I think that it is a good idea to share with other children and adults that some are not as fortunate as others.
    I wish I was old enough to volunteer!
    I hope that one day, with everyone helping, we can help to cease world hunger.

    P.S. I think that tomorrow’s wonder will be about exotic foods or fast foods.

    • Hi, Anna B! Thanks for visiting Wonderopolis again today! We love hearing from you!

      You ARE old enough to volunteer…you might just need a grown-up’s help! Why not get your family together and decide on something you can all do together? Maybe volunteer at your local library or literacy council to read books to children? You’ll be making some awesome family memories and helping others at the same time! :-)

    • Hi, Jaden! Thanks so much for letting us know what you thought about the video for this Wonder! We try really hard to pick the best video to go along with each Wonder of the Day®. Sometimes we pick videos that help explain the Wonder of the Day® a little better. Other times, we pick videos that just show kids and grown ups something fun that they can do after they learn from that day’s Wonder.

      Thanks for hanging out in Wonderopolis today and for being a GREAT Wonder Friend! :-)

    • New friends, just like you, are a WONDERful part of life, Tony! How AWESOME that you met new friends during your volunteer experience! That sounds like a win-win to us! :)

    • We think that you added a great deal to the community in which you volunteered, Wonder Friend! Thank you for sharing your WONDERful volunteer experience! We hope you can encourage others to do the same! :)

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Have you ever wondered…

  • Why would you work for free?
  • What kinds of things can you do if you volunteer?
  • How can volunteering benefit you?

Wonder Gallery

diverse group of volunteers_shutterstock_76496911Vimeo Video

Try It Out

Ready to lend a hand? You don’t have to sacrifice a lot of time to do a lot of good. One simple good deed can go a long way. And don’t forget… volunteers often find that they benefit just as much as those they help!

If you’ve never volunteered your time to help someone else, there’s no time like the present to give it a try. Here are some super-simple ideas that you can try today:

  • Make dinner tonight for your family. After everyone is finished eating, clean the kitchen and all the dishes, too!
  • Pick some wildflowers, put them in a cup of water and give them to a neighbor. Ask if they need any help around the house.
  • Get a group of younger children together for story time. Read a couple of books to them and then tell some fun stories together.
  • Grab some friends and help clean up a local park. Bring some trash bags. Clean up any trash you find and leave the park cleaner and neater than it was when you got there!
  • Keep your eyes open. What’s going on in the world around you? Who do you see that could use some help? Now go help them!


Still Wondering

Want to volunteer some time to help a child? Visit ReadWriteThink and Help a Child Write a Poem today!


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We sure hope you’re hungry. Tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day is sure to fill you up!

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