Menu
Volunteering in Paris: Why, How and Where to Volunteer.

Volunteering in Paris: Why, How and Where to Volunteer.

With busy lives in Paris (like many other huge cities), it can be way-too-hard to get time to volunteer. That said, the benefits of volunteering are actually enormous to everyone and most especially to an expatriate, their family, and the new community they’ve moved to.

The right volunteering match can help a lot in reducing stress, finding and making new friends, reaching out to the community, learning and developing new skills, and even advance your career.

I’ve come to realize that the art of giving also helps protect one’s mental and physical health. So why does it matter to help others and where does one get started in volunteering in Paris?

In this short post, we’ll list a few benefits of volunteering, ideas of actions one might be involved in and a few organizations, found in Paris, that usually look for volunteers.

Let’s get started.

Why does volunteering matter?

The idea that helping others is part of a meaningful life has been around for thousands of years. A 2016 research found that being kind and giving to others can make our lives feel more meaningful. It’s been proven that people who engage in altruistic activities (e.g. volunteering), report a greater sense of purpose and meaning in their lives.

A 2012 University of Wales’ research on the subject of the benefits of volunteering found that volunteering improved the quality of life, ability to cope with ill-health and improved self-esteem.

On their website, Action for Happiness listed ten key ingredients for a happy and fulfilling life that include giving, relating, exercising, awareness, trying out, direction, resilience, emotions, acceptance and meaning.

Actually, it’s interesting to see that volunteering ticks all those boxes!

Volunteering is an amazing opportunity to learn new skills, and can boost employment prospects. Especially if you’ve moved to Paris and you’re searching for a job. Volunteering can help to heal mental ill-health. It’s also one of the best ways to fight addiction.

So, what are the benefits for the society?

How can our volunteering actions help to benefit our communities?

It basically enables people to play an active role in their society and contribute to positive social change.

If you live in Paris, you might have realized that there are still social barriers that need to be broken down and volunteering is one of the best weapons to play that role and offers people an opportunity to socialize with people from different social and cultural backgrounds.

I haven’t read the recently released World Happiness Report yet, but if you go back to the 2016 Updated Version of the World Happiness Report, you’ll see that social support and generosity are key determinants of national wellbeing.

Volunteers support vulnerable ones in our society, they also enable them to live a healthy and rewarding life.

This usually comes in the form of simple things we usually take for granted, such as practical help at home for disabled or older people, mentoring a care leaver and helping them to find their feet as an adult, or supporting a young mother struggling to provide for her children.

I’ve quickly listed a few ideas where anyone can get involved, but let’s get a little deeper. Here’s a proposed list of 10 community service examples and ideas for volunteering for any expats in Paris or elsewhere.

  • Donate or raise money for your local Red Cross

  • For your next birthday, ask for charitable donations instead of gifts

  • Hold a bake sale for your favorite charity

  • Participate in a charity race

  • Volunteer to help at a charity auction

  • Organize a car wash and donate the profits to charity

  • Knit or crochet baby blankets to be donated to hospitals or homeless shelters

  • Deliver groceries and meals to elderly neighbors

  • Make birthday cards for the elderly

  • Care for a neighbor’s pet while they are away

Have you just moved to Paris?

The following nonprofits are always looking for Volunteer in Paris:

Benenova

Benenova works to create links between corporations, NGO's and citizens in an effort to create a more inclusive and better functioning society. Benenova offers the opportunity to see another side of Paris that isn’t the Eiffel Tower. It gives its volunteers a different perspective and really humanizes social issues.

 

SOS Help

SOS Help has a listening team made up entirely of volunteers.

They’re trained professional psychologists, who provide continued training and support, but who do not work on the line. Their volunteers are trained to listen to people, and not to judge, label or diagnose them.

SOS Help volunteers represent a diverse range of nationalities, ethnicities, orientations, political and religious views, but they’re not a religious or political organization, and will never impose any personal attitudes or beliefs on any of their volunteers.

 

Utopia56

Utopia 56 is a French Non-Profit that was created in Lorient (Brittany) in January 2016. They aim at gathering and coordinating volunteers so as to help refugees in northern France. They work with many other existing organizations in Paris and all over France. This has helped them develop a large network of volunteering opportunities in, around and beyond Paris.

 

Serve The City: Paris

Feel compelled to help those less fortunate around you but not sure how?

Serve the City Paris is here! STC Paris (founded in 2015 with the hope of helping those in desperate need of food, clothing, shelter, and most of all love and care), is part of a global movement of volunteers showing kindness in practical ways to those in need. They’re an independent organization partnering with various non-profit organizations in and around Paris. By joining them you’ll be part of a serving revolution by participating in a myriad of opportunities that allow you to better know Paris and Parisians.

 

Let me conclude with these few quotes that really touched me while researching and writing this post:

“Every time you do a good deed you shine the light a little farther into the dark. And the thing is, when you're gone that light is going to keep shining on, pushing the shadows back.” ― Charles de Lint

"Every sunrise is an invitation for us to arise and brighten someone's day.”

Richelle E. Goodrich

“We're all a bit bad. We all have things in our lives that bring us shame and regret. Things that have hurt our souls or hurt the people we love. But are all a bit good too. I reckon we're mostly good actually. And life is about trying to learn the balance, plot our place on the continuum... We're not just made up of good and bad: we're everything else too.” ― Alice Broadway

“The more happiness you put out into the world, the more will find its way back to you. If I can make one person’s day better because of my actions, it’s been a good day for everyone” ― Unknow

Image sources: Pixabay

Last modified onMonday, 27 March 2017 13:58
Rate this item
(1 Vote)
back to top

JOIN THE LEADING PARIS EXPATRIATES COMMUNITY!

Join Us!

facebook-icontwitter-bird-icongoogle-icon