Your community in action! Five surprising benefits of volunteering

 

By ACSET Community Action Agency

 

We often hear the request for time, treasure or talent from organizations serving others in our community. Volunteering your time and talent can make as much, if not more, of an impact as making a donation. Many organizations couldn’t do the good work they do without the help of volunteers.

 

Yes, volunteering helps the organization by providing no-cost labor. Yes, volunteering helps the community because with more help, organizations can do more. Yes, volunteering makes you feel good because you are giving back. But the benefits don’t stop there.

  1. Reduce stress and increase well-being. Volunteering provides a sense of purpose and accomplishment that has been found to have a positive effect on mental health. Those who volunteer regularly are found to have lower rates of depression.
  2. Improve your health. Studies have found that states with higher volunteer rates have less incidence of heart disease. People who volunteer also spend 38 percent fewer nights in the hospital.
  3. You’ll live longer. Mortality rates have been found to be lower in groups who volunteer regularly. Studies show that individuals who volunteer at least 40 hours per year live longer than those who volunteer less or not at all.
  4. Help you get a new job. Volunteers learn new skills that could open up new employment opportunities. Volunteering also keeps unemployed individuals active while building their resume. Some organizations even turn volunteers into employees because they already understand the organization’s mission and culture.
  5. Make new friends. Volunteering leads to developing new friendships and support networks. This is especially important for older adults who benefit the most from volunteering. It can reduce feelings of isolation and create a network of caring individuals who also support one another.

Are you ready to volunteer? ACSET Community Action Agency (CAA) relies on volunteers for a variety of programs. From boxing food for emergency assistance distributions to serving meals to seniors, you can help your neighbors and gain the many benefits of giving back. Contact ACSET CAA at 616.336.4000 to learn more.

 

Your Community in Action! is provided by ASCET Community Action Agency. To learn more about how they help meet emergency needs and assist with areas of self-sufficiency, visit www.communityactionkent.org.

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