WEEK 18 OF ACTION: VOLUNTEER- IT’S THE HEALTHY THING TO DO
I had the honor of volunteering with my church last week for the Welcome Home Initiative (a retreat for military veterans and their immediate families; who served their country in combat and are suffering from varying degrees of post-traumatic stress). What an amazing event!
Even though my part was small, the event made a tremendous impact on me. The highlight was the closing ceremony in which all of the volunteers gathered to celebrate each of the veterans.
I volunteer because it was a learned behavior from my parents, and in doing so makes me happy. There’s something gratifying about volunteering. Whenever I help a charity – which I try to do regularly – I get more out of it than if I give. Studies show that volunteering builds life capacities by learning new skills, developing leadership, building self-confidence, and being involved in a positive environment.
When you feel good about yourself, you become happier, which helps cope with stress, and when you are donating your time, people tend to stop dwelling on their own concerns and start working for the greater good of the goal. While giving back to your community, you are broadening your horizons, possibly making new friends, coming up with a new idea that may turn into a business or may even find a business partner – all while strengthening and connecting to your own community.
It doesn’t matter whether you are serving at a food pantry or soup kitchen, whether you are building a new playground for kids or painting a house for a family in need, mentoring and reading with our youth or spending time with the elderly – that connection releases feel good endorphins lowering stress and promoting a lot of other benefits such as greater sense of purpose in life.
Face it, VOLUNTEERING IS GOOD FOR YOU! Volunteers feel healthier, their mood improves, they feel that they have control over their own health, and it lowers their stress, all while fulfilling a sense of commitment and making an important impact on the community.
A study by the United Health Group, the Optimum Institute and Mashable has found a link between volunteering and better physical, mental and emotional health.
Here are some of the findings of those surveyed:
- 78% said that volunteering helped lower their stress level.
- 94% said that volunteering helped to improve their mood.
- 96% said that volunteering enriched their sense of purpose in life.
- 75% said that volunteering helped them with their time management skills.
Let’s Do This
Please share with us how you made your week count. No, it doesn’t need to take place on Monday – Monday just gets us excited about what the week has to offer, what we (ourselves) have to offer.
- Follow us on:
- Look for the weekly theme on all of our social media throughout the day on Mondays
- Photograph, video, post, tweet about your experience
- Remember to tag @PBUnitedWay and use the weekly hashtags
We have an AWESOME community, let’s embrace it, make an impact — IT’S MONDAY, LET’S DO THIS!