Volunteerism - Lesson 1

Contributor: Shannon Malkovsky. Lesson ID: 10183

When we think about work, we think about getting paid and making a living. However, working just to help others, without pay, can be very satisfying. Learn the life-changing benefits of volunteering!


Civics, Interpersonal Skills

learning style
personality style
Lion, Otter
Grade Level
High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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"We are the world, we are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let’s start giving
There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me"

- "We Are the World" by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie

What do these lyrics mean to you? Do you think you can make a difference in your community?

In this first Related Lesson of our Volunteerism series, you are going to learn about volunteerism, social responsibility, and altruism.

At the end of the lesson, the goal is for you to understand the importance of contributing to your community.

What is a Volunteer?

  • Someone who shares his or her time, effort, and talent for a need or the common good without getting paid.

Watch this Volunteers Grow Community! Youth Volunteerism Video - Grande Prairie Volunteer Services Bureau video (below) to see what some teens are doing:

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What are some of the benefits of volunteering?

  • Making a difference in someone’s life
  • Making a difference within one’s own community
  • A way of expressing gratitude for help you may have received in the past; "giving back"
  • An opportunity to support a cause you feel strongly about
  • Feeling needed and valued is satisfying in itself
  • A means of building confidence
  • A great way to learn or develop skills
  • A pathway to enhance work experience
  • Gain improved health and be active
  • A way to meet new people and broaden your social set
  • Volunteering is a great opportunity for students to learn about their interests and possible future careers while helping others!

Discuss the following questions with a parent, sibling, or friend:

  • Do you know of anyone who volunteers time in your community?
  • How do volunteers make the community a better place?
  • Would the community be able to get along without volunteers? 

What is Altruism?

Altruism is true concern for the welfare of others; doing good for others while expecting nothing in return. It is a true form of selflessness.

What is Social Responsibility?

Social responsibility is an individual's obligation or duty to act in the best interest of society and your community.

Now that you have an idea of the benefits and obligations of volunteerism, move on to the Got It? section to see how they work together.

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