Happy National Volunteer Month everyone!

Omega Phi Alpha is fortunate to have members who are so passionate about our mission that they volunteer their time and expertise as members of our national team. These 63 people are living out our cardinal principles of leadership and service on a daily basis, supporting our chapters, engaging our alumni, managing our finances, keeping us connected through all sorts of communications streams, producing events, growing the Omega Phi Alpha Foundation, addressing important issues like diversity, equity and inclusion, and so many other important operational needs.

If you are reading this blog, your life as a member of Omega Phi Alpha has been touched by at least one of our national team volunteers this year. Please join me in a huge, virtual rose twirl in appreciation for all they do!!

I was drawn to Omega Phi Alpha because of our focus on service, and I imagine that many of you feel the same. It is the true differentiator between Omega Phi Alpha and other membership organizations. The spirit of volunteerism cultivated during my active years has been a guiding force throughout my career and family life. When I am volunteering, I am always focused on the service I am providing to others – the benefits that they are receiving. As a Rotarian, I truly believe in the motto “Service Above Self.” 

But, it turns out that there are benefits to the volunteer as well!

  • Volunteering improves your social well-being. By connecting you to others it creates a sense of community. Volunteer commitments provide opportunities to develop new friendships and strengthen existing ones. Serving others can also contribute to improved self-esteem.
  • Volunteering can advance your career. Serving alongside other leaders on a community board or committee can connect you to new mentors. Committee work also provides opportunities to develop new skills that can translate to your chosen profession.
  • Volunteering is good for the mind and body. People who volunteer regularly have a true sense of purpose and feel more fulfilled. The act of serving others releases “feel good” endorphins that can help counteract stress and anxiety. By shifting your focus outward instead of inward, service to others can also help combat depression. 

I have to admit – I am guilty of saying “yes” so often that I can end up feeling overwhelmed and over-extended… and then my well-being suffers. To guide me to my next “yes” I’ve created three questions. 

  • Is this a cause I am truly passionate about? 
  • Will this opportunity benefit from my strengths or provide an outlet for things I enjoy doing?
  • What is the realistic time commitment and how does that align with the time I have available?

As you seek new volunteer roles in your community, I hope these questions will help you discover the right opportunities to put your unique gifts and talents to work. Together we are making a difference in the world – one act of service at a time.

Forever in Service,
Jan Titsworth, National President