Voluntary

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Etymology

Middle English, from Anglo-French voluntarie, from Latin voluntarius, from voluntas will, from velle to will, wish

Definitions

Synonyms

intentional, deliberate, willing mean done or brought about of one's own will. voluntary implies freedom and spontaneity of choice or action without external compulsion <a voluntary confession>. intentional stresses an awareness of an end to be achieved <the intentional concealment of vital information>. deliberate implies full consciousness of the nature of one's act and its consequences <deliberate acts of sabotage>. willing implies a readiness and eagerness to accede to or anticipate the wishes of another <willing obedience>.

Volunteering is the practice of people working on behalf of others or a particular cause without payment for their time and services. Volunteering is generally considered an altruistic activity, intended to promote good or improve human quality of life, but people also volunteer for their own skill development, to meet others, to make contacts for possible employment, to have fun, and a variety of other reasons that could be considered self-serving.

Volunteering takes many forms and is performed by a wide range of people. Many volunteers are specifically trained in the areas they work in, such as medicine, education, or emergency rescue. Other volunteers serve on an as-needed basis, such as in response to a natural disaster or for a beach-cleanup.