“There are two greatest days in a person’s life – the day we are born and the day we discover why.” ~ William Barclay
One of the most prevailing beliefs about volunteering is that it is purely self-sacrifice—that when we volunteer, we simply give without getting anything in return. While this is not entirely untrue, volunteering can be more than just self-sacrifice. It can be an avenue towards self-discovery. When we are intentional with our volunteer work—when we know our why, including our selfish why—we can find opportunities that can help us grow as better individuals, all while helping make a difference in this world.
As we try to move forward to a hopefully better future, we deal with a lot of the aftermaths of the pandemic. That includes taking hesitant steps towards becoming more comfortable with the outside world, literally and figuratively. We, in iVolunteer, hope to help everyone—especially Filipinos—explore new possibilities through volunteering, as we move away from years of forced isolation.
Those things being said, we are proudly bringing back Go Volunteer, the biggest volunteer expo in the country. This 2-day event will allow many of our partner NGOs to showcase their advocacies and volunteer opportunities, and interact directly with the general public. During this event, we will be setting up booths where people can talk to our partner NGOs and sign up for future volunteer events.
This year, we are gearing up to hold Go Volunteer in two separate venues and schedule to cater to our growing volunteer market. The first leg will be held in SM Megamall on May 6 & 7. The second leg will be in SM Davao on May 27 & 28. The entire campaign will be co-presented with SM Cares and SM Supermalls, and will be participated by a lot of our partner NGOs.
But before we welcome you to our biggest physical event since the pandemic started, we’d like you to take this time to evaluate your life and think of how volunteering can make it even more colorful. With the theme Discover New, we hope to use Go Volunteer to help you discover something new through volunteering.
Life is a journey of endless self-discovery where every experience helps us better understand ourselves. For this year’s Go Volunteer, we dare you to examine yourselves and to really understand what else can add value to your life. For starters, here are some questions you can ask yourselves and some suggestions on how volunteering can be the answer to these introspective questions.
Question 1: What are your strengths and weaknesses that you want to improve?
The quest towards self-improvement is always marked by failure after failure. But unlike school and work, the volunteer sector is a much safer place to try and fail.
Are you a graphic designer who wants to explore a different style? Volunteer that skill and enjoy the process of refining your art without being subjected to intense scrutiny. Do you think you lack social or leadership skills? Volunteer as a project or program lead. You would be surprised with how much character development you would go through.
The possibilities are truly endless. But the best thing about volunteering is that you get to define what you are willing to offer. Align your volunteer work with what you personally want to improve in yourself.
The first step is to know your strengths and weaknesses. So go ask yourself.
Question 2: What change do you want to make in this world?
Better yet, ask yourself what you can contribute to that change. More than anything, volunteering will teach you the value of humility, of accepting that our individual efforts are futile. Alone, we can never create a dent in the universe. But together, we are unstoppable. Therefore, know that there is no such thing as a big or small contribution. Always give within your capacity, and never compare.
Want to make a difference in the lives of stray cats and dogs? You don’t have to adopt one or create an animal shelter if these are still beyond you. Donating or volunteering your time in a shelter are enough contributions.
Think about your advocacy, what you are willing to fight for. Know that when you volunteer to an organization with the same advocacy, you will be surrounded by people who want to change the world the same way as you do.
Question 3: What kind of people do you want in your life?
If you are among those who felt like your world turned smaller when the pandemic forced us indoors, then know that volunteering can help you regain a semblance of connections. Volunteering will allow you to meet people from different professions, lifestyles, generation—basically, people from different walks of life.
Sometimes, the best way to discover yourself is to meet new people who will challenge your mindset and who will inspire you in ways you probably never thought they could. At the core of it, volunteering is an avenue to meet people you probably will not cross paths with in your daily life.
As you try to explore how volunteering can add value to your life, we’d like to share with you some of the volunteer stories we’ve written over the years. May their stories inspire you to find your own path.
Some volunteers find a greater purpose by offering their skills to make meaningful contributions.
- Meet Bel Padlan, one of iVolunteer’s Co-Founders and the current Director for Technology. He is an Engineer by profession, and he’s been using his tech skills to help build and sustain the iVolunteer website. Read his story here, written circa 2013.
- Meet Teacher Fe, the Founder of Journey of Hope. She allots time to regularly teach less privileged kids living under the bridge in La Huerta. Read her story here.
Volunteers can also discover a new version of themselves by volunteering a skill or hobby that’s way different from their profession or track in life.
- Meet Gerald Catapang, a BPO agent (at the time of the interview), who’d find time to volunteer as a tutor in spite of having a graveyard shift at work. Read his story here.
- Meet Au, a pharmacist, who also loved volunteering as a tutor and acting as a big sister to her tutees. Read her story here.
While there were a few who met the love of their lives through volunteering (we have a couple who found each other through iVolunteer), there are also different kinds of love that can be found through volunteering.
- Meet Mark Napao, the President and Founder of Solar Hope, an NGO that aims to electrify remote and marginalized communities. Solar Hope was the product of his depression. At his lowest, volunteering was his beacon of light, and an anchor to life. Watch his interview here.
- Meet Luzviminda and Ritchelle, the power couple behind the Animal Rescue PH organization. Luz shared how being raised in a broken family led her to sympathize strongly with abandoned animals. Read her short story here.
GO VOLUNTEER THIS MAY
We hope that the stories and insights we shared have at least helped you evaluate your life goals and how volunteering can support those. While Go Volunteer is not an end all and be all, it can be the start or restart of your volunteer journey. Our goal is to help you take the first steps towards this journey. But how it will unfold is a story that you are yet to discover.
Mark your calendars. Dare to #DiscoverNew.
Sign up to Go Volunteer and stay updated for announcements through our Go Volunteer event pages:
- SM Megamall (May 6-7): https://www.facebook.com/events/597164835625739/
- SM Davao (May 27-28): https://www.facebook.com/events/127078233501520/
Learn more about Go Volunteer by reading our blog about the 2019 Go Volunteer in Glorietta. Click here for the article.
Written by: Lorraine Rañoa, iVolunteer Philippines
Visit, follow and like iVolunteer’s Facebook Page for Regular Updates: https://www.facebook.com/ivolunteerphils
Sign up for Volunteer Opportunities through iVolunteer’s Website: https://www.ivolunteer.com.ph/
11 thoughts on “Go Volunteer 2023: Dare to #DiscoverNew”
Good day! Congratulations on your worthwhile endevour to introduce our people to the beauty of volunteering! We belong to a government agency which engages people to act as Volunteer Probation Assistants. Our volunteers help us assist in the implementation of the Parole and Probation Administration rehabilitation program and monitoring of probationers and parolees. We are still inviting people to volunteer for us. Is it possible we can get involved in your activity at SM Mega Mall and SM Davao? Your platform is an effective way for us to advocate the public to help maintain peace and order thru volunteering. I hope you will consider our request albeit this is already too soon. Thank you and again congratulations!
Hi Isabel, we’re not quite sure we understand your organization’s needs. We suggest to email us a proposal through: firstname.lastname@example.org so we can better understand you. Better yet, you can also drop by our Expo in SM Megamall and SM Davao so you can talk to us directly. It would be really nice to see you there.
I want to join the Ivolunteer because I like your advocacy and and want to help and share to other people my knowledge and my experience
Hi Tessie, we hope you can attend the Go Volunteer Expo in SM Megamall (May 6 & 7) or SM City Davao (May 27-28). You can drop by anytime during mall hours. We will be there with many of our partner NGOs. This is the best opportunity for you to explore the different volunteer opportunities.
Happy to join this Go volunteer on May 6 at an mega mall mssg me about time be there
Hi Eveleen, you can come anytime during mall hours. Entrance is free and you can bring your family and friends with you. Best to follow our FB page for more updates: https://www.facebook.com/ivolunteerphils. See you!
Wait for notify me for details. Thank you
Hi I’m a proud Solo Parent here and I’m very much willing to volunteer…I’m also a volunteer in my city but I want to explore more about volunteerism..count me in I want to be part of your journey. Thank you and God bless
Hi Lati, see you there! Follow us on Facebook for more updates on Go Volunteer: https://www.facebook.com/ivolunteerphils. Bring your family and friends too. 🙂
P.S. We are also proud of you for being a solo parent, and still having the energy and willingness to volunteer your time for others ❤
I am a PWD-Visual Disability, Low Vision, 59 y. o. and a resident of North Caloocan. I have a background in agriculture by experience and active in Scouting during high school.
I have this concept of Scouting in Agriculture and PWD in agriculture. Both for the purpose of advocating food security, safety and sustainabuliry. As well as mitigating the effects of climate change.
However, I did not find the stated cause in the list of organization you enumerated.
May you guide me about these?
Or there might be others who have of the same advocacy as mine, thus we may form a volunteer group.
Hi Marcy, if you are free, you can drop by SM Megamall this weekend for the Go Volunteer Expo. You can talk to us and our partner NGOs there to explore how you can help. Follow our FB page for updates: https://www.facebook.com/ivolunteerphils.
Or you can also check our website for volunteer opportunities and see if anything here fits your skills and interest: https://www.ivolunteer.com.ph/time-volunteer/. Hope this helps!