As we begin our new year, we also begin with our new volunteer program. As a volunteer myself in various organizations, I have come to see the many benefits to volunteering. Volunteers help to make the community a better place no matter what the task or skill they provide, they make the difference to the lives of people, animals and organizations in need. Volunteering has helped many acquire new friends and contacts. Volunteering is the perfect way to get to know a new community, neighborhood resources and broaden your interests.
An article in Help Guide under well-being & happiness provided a number of surprising benefits in volunteering. It provided 4 ways to feel healthier and happier:
- Volunteering connects you to others by making new friends and contacts, plus strengthening existing relationships that commit to a shared activity together. Increasing your social and relationship skills.
- Volunteering is good for your mind and body. Volunteering helps counteract the effects of stress, anger, and anxiety. Volunteering combats depression. Volunteering makes you happy, increases self- confidence, provides a sense of purpose and helps you stay physically healthy.
- Volunteering can advance your career. Volunteering helps teach you valuable job skills. Allows you to try out a new career without making a long-term commitment. A great way to gain experience in a new field.
- Volunteering brings fun and fulfillment to your life. Volunteering is a fun and easy way to explore your interests and passions. An energizing and relaxing way to escape your day-to-day routine of work, school and family commitments.
Forbes writes: A Corporation for National & Community Service report noted: “Research demonstrates that volunteering leads to better health… those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer.”
Volunteering your love makes you feel more love. Admittedly, love is a hard thing to measure. But when researchers at the London School of Economics examined the relationship between volunteering and measures of happiness, they found the more people volunteered, the happier they were. Volunteering builds empathy, strengthens social bonds and makes you smile — all factors that increase the feeling of love.
The fact that volunteering has so many benefits is reason enough to engage in our own volunteer program. We at the Sobering Center, have a number of ways you could get involved through volunteering. We know you have options and we are happy to be the place you decide to volunteer in. If you have questions regarding our volunteer program, please direct your questions via our website and we will be happy to contact you.