My wife and I have been volunteers for years and we have worked with volunteers around the world.
Recently the International Volunteer Card, which we carry to help in emergencies anywhere we find ourselves, published a list of five qualities they have discovered that most volunteers have in common.
I guess if you plan to be a volunteer, you need to do it for the right reasons which will be seen in these five qualities:
FLEXIBILITY…Careful planning and good intentions can unravel in a second while on a volunteer trip. Great volunteers have the ability to adapt and be flexible no matter what comes their way. Staying calm and focused will help you to analyze your unplanned situation and make safer decisions for moving forward. So, make sure you know how to adapt in different settings and situations!
CREATIVITY…Your personality should absolutely be allowed to shine on your volunteer trip, whether traveling solo or in a group. The best volunteers allow their imaginations to fuel their excitement and passion. Creativity can help stave off the exhaustion and stress of volunteering. If you are volunteering plan to use your mind! Think!
ENERGY…If you’re exhausted all the time, you won’t be of much use to your team and you may have a hard time focusing on tedious tasks that require full attention. Great volunteers enhance their energy levels by preparing health and R&R strategies in advance. At all times practice self-care!
INTEGRITY… Integrity is truly foundational to all your volunteer service. Be sincere and work hard to show how much you care about what you’re doing. Keep yourself and others safe by taking responsibility for your mistakes, respecting others, and working hard. Above all be honest!
SELFLESSNESS…Know your limits and take time to refocus on your reasons for being there. Connect with the people you are serving and consciously encourage them and the other volunteers by serving them. Practice being a servant!
Italics are from original article: www.volunteercard.com