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In fact, studies such as those by Serow (1991) and Bussell & Forbes (2002), which investigated the many ulterior motives for involvement in community services, reveal that people volunteer out of both altruistic as well as self-centered motives.
The welfare and service of others lies at the heart of any volunteering act. People actively participate in community services to obtain self-satisfaction and pleasure, which is addictive! Volunteering to participate in community activities is considered an act of charity. Studies that used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study changes in brain activity reveal that the centers of the brain which are stimulated when a person receives a reward or experiences pleasure are also activated when a person gives charity (Oppenheimer and Olivola 6). Another study by Meier and Stutzer (2008, qtd. in Oppenheimer and Olivola) suggests that volunteering increases well-being and “overall life satisfaction” (6). It is thus evident that volunteering is pleasurable and increases satisfaction, which is why people often engage in it.
People also volunteer in community service to benefit professionally or educationally. Several business organizations such as Bain & Company promote or organize community services to introduce employees to “fresh ideas and new people” (“Community Volunteering”). Employees of such organizations participate voluntarily or involuntarily, as they cannot risk avoiding the company’s mandates. Students also volunteer in community activities to add weight-age to their college applications or get a scholarship. Scholarships such as the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards and the Samuel Huntington Public Service Award are exclusively awarded based on the candidates’ participation in community services and volunteering activities (“Community Service Scholarships”). It can be stated that some people volunteer to “gain an advantage” at a place of work
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