Volunteering is Good for Your Health

My husband and I are active in several community service organizations. It makes a positive impact on the community in which we live. We enjoy helping those less fortunate than ourselves, giving voice to those who need support, and working to make the environment a better place. It makes us happy and it feels good. What we did not realize was the health benefits we reap when we volunteer. Volunteering is not just good for those we help, it has surprising benefits for the volunteer, as well.

Check out these 7 unexpected benefits of volunteering:

  1. Volunteering builds bonds and creates friendships. It helps connect people with similar interests and decreases feelings of loneliness.
  2. It fosters a sense of belonging to a community and helps build support networks.
  3. When we make others happy, it eases our own personal struggles. It helps relieve and prevent depression, anger, and anxiety.
  4. Self-esteem, self-worth, and self-confidence get a boost. Volunteering allows us to learn new skills and partake in new experiences.
  5. By giving us a sense of purpose, volunteering promotes longevity.
  6. It helps us age gracefully by providing ways to stay physically and mentally active.
  7. Volunteering is fun. It brings family and friends together. It makes us happy.
Want to start volunteering? Worried about the time commitment? Don’t know where to start? Take a look at the sites below. They will match you with a project or opportunity that matches your interests and your time. You can even volunteer from the comfort of your home.

Get Started:

  • volunteermatch.com. They have a list of over 100,000 nonprofits around the world. You choose the city and the cause that you are passionate about, register, and VolunteerMatch will contact the organization on your behalf. The great thing about this site is that you can choose a hands-on project or you can volunteer virtually. If you have a computer or phone, there is an opportunity for you.
  • allforgood.org hosts 150,000 volunteer events in major cities around the country.
  • createthegood.org was created by AARP to give baby boomers and seniors flexible options for volunteering. Whether you have 5 minutes or 5 hours, there is an organization that could benefit from your time.
  • dosomething.org connects young people with volunteer opportunities. Teens and young adults can volunteer or sign up for a social action or civic campaign.
  • Local theatres, museums, libraries, animal shelters, youth spots, parks and places of worship are other options.
So get up. Get moving. Volunteer. It’s good for the community, the environment, and your health. Share your experience.