Volunteerism is an altruistic activity where an individual or a group provides services for no financial gain. It helps in skill development and also helps promote goodness and improve quality of life. Volunteering offers a win-win situation since it helps the volunteer as well as the community being served. Oftentimes, it can lead to permanent employment. These opportunities usually arise in sectors such as medicine, education, emergency rescue, and even response to natural disasters. The historical evolution of the practice as well as the specific applications, benefits, and criticisms are discussed next.


The word volunteerism was coined in 1755. It is derived from the noun volunteer (from the Middle French voluntaire), which refers to those who offer themselves for military service. The word is often used ...

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