By: Vaneza Gonzalez, Volunteer Coordinator, Project HELP
“One of the great ironies of life is this: He or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served.” – Gordon Hinckle
The power of serving others have often been documented throughout time, but many studies now prove that volunteering has many hidden benefits. Some of the benefits include improving your social skills and even your health! It may be hard to believe that doing volunteering “work” would actually make you feel better and add years to your life! Volunteer work helps to advance the mission you believe in, and creates a feeling of gratitude and accomplishment. Volunteering also contributes to making the cause the best it can be. We urge everyone in our community to select a cause that is important to them and dedicate a portion of their time to the mission.
Here is a list of the amazing benefits that volunteering has for your health overall:
• Volunteering connects you to others!
o Making new friends and contacts with common interests
o Social and relationship skills that helps you build a support system
• Volunteering is good for your mind and body!
o Helps with stress, anger and anxiety by being physically and mentally active
o Combats depression by giving you a sense of self-worth, meaning and appreciation
o Makes you happy by helping others
o Increases self-confidence by feeling accomplished
o Provides sense of purpose by finding meaning on and direction by helping others
o Helps you stay physically healthy and lowers your mortality rate
• Volunteering can advance your career (if still in the workforce)!
o Valuable job skills
o Gain career experience
• Volunteering brings fun and fulfillment to your life!
o Allows you to explore different passions/interests
Overall, volunteering is a great way to have fun, stay healthy and active and can contribute to a long and satisfying life. There are plenty of different organizations in your community that are in need of volunteers. Before you commit to volunteering, there are things to consider such as the amount of time you are able to commit, your level of physical ability, your skills, if you prefer being part of a team or working alone, if you prefer working with animals, children or adults, and most importantly what causes are important to you. There are many non-profits in your community and they all thrive on volunteers donating their time and commitment. Please take a moment and consider giving back to your community to a nonprofit that may fit the cause that means the most to you. Remember, volunteering is can contribute towards enjoying a long and healthy life, while helping others at the same time! A win win for everyone!