Volunteering, Etymology and history

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Summary

Volunteering is generally considered an altruistic activity and is intended to promote goodness or improve human quality of life. In return, this activity can produce a feeling of self-worth and respect. There is no financial gain involved for the individual. Volunteering is also renowned for skill development, socialization, and fun. It is also intended to make contacts for possible employment. It is helping, assisting, or serving another person or persons without pay.

Details

The verb volunteer was first recorded in 1755 from the noun, in C.1600, "one who offers himself for military service," by M.Fr. Voluntaire. In the non-military sense, the word was first recorded during the 1630s. The word volunteering has more recent usage—still predominantly military—coinciding with the phrase community service.

In a military context, a volunteer army is a military body whose soldiers chose to enter service, as opposed to having been conscripted. Such volunteers do not work "for free" and are given regular pay.

If a student is engaged in some sort of volunteer work, taking a gap year after high school or during college is also a form of volunteering. Career break is also considered to be a form of volunteering, until involved in a voluntary work.

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External Links

  • WikipediaVolunteerism and legislation: a Guidance Note

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