There are a number of benefits of volunteering! We hope that you enjoy the following articles and resources.
15 Unexpected Benefits of Volunteering That Will Inspire You
March 10, 2017 by Joanne Fritz, The Balance
If you have ever volunteered, you may have noticed that you felt fantastic afterward. Maybe you saw a little boost in your mood, or that you felt like part of a team. You felt like you made a difference.
When we volunteer, we may see real changes as a result of our efforts. We may even witness the effects that our efforts have on others in our community. When we volunteer, we know that we are helping others by giving our time and resources.
The benefits of volunteering are countless. But there definitely are social, emotional, physical, and professional perks.
This article describes fifteen proven benefits of volunteering. Maybe one of them will convince you to get off the couch and out the door to engage with your community.
February 21, 2018 by George Monbiot, The Guardian, Health Opinion
Frome in Somerset has seen a dramatic fall in emergency hospital admissions since it began a collective project to combat isolation. There are lessons for the rest of the country. It could, if the results stand up, be one of the most dramatic medical breakthroughs of recent decades. It could transform treatment regimes, save lives, and save health services a fortune. Is it a drug? A device? A surgical procedure? No, it’s a newfangled intervention called community…
What this provisional data appears to show is that when isolated people who have health problems are supported by community groups and volunteers, the number of emergency admissions to hospital falls spectacularly. While across the whole of Somerset emergency hospital admissions rose by 29% during the three years of the study, in Frome they fell by 17%. Julian Abel, a consultant physician in palliative care and lead author of the draft paper, remarks: “No other interventions on record have reduced emergency admissions across a population.”
Juli Fraga, NPR, Public Health
At the start of the new year, parents may encourage their teens to detox from social media, increase exercise, or begin a volunteer project. While kids may bristle at the thought of posting fewer selfies, surveys indicate 55 percent of adolescents enjoy volunteering. And according to a recent study, when it comes to helping others, teens may benefit psychologically from spending time helping strangers. The study, published in December in the Journal of Adolescence, suggests that altruistic behaviors, including large and small acts of kindness, may raise teens’ feelings of self-worth. However, not all helping behaviors are the same. The researchers found that adolescents who assisted strangers reported higher self-esteem one year later.
January 10, 2018 by Joanie Faletto, Curiosity.com
Most people want to volunteer, but according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only about one in four Americans do. Three-quarters of the people in that equation may not realize what they’re missing. Helping others doesn’t just put you in a good mood — it can also boost your health. So, what exactly can volunteering do to power-up your physical well-being?
- It can lower the health effects of stress.
- It reduces the risk of drug abuse.
- It can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.
- It can lower your risk of death.
- It can release happy hormones.
January 3, 2018 by Mandy James, The Guardian
There is now broad agreement about the positive contribution volunteering can have for people’s health and wellbeing… Volunteering helps reduce loneliness, now recognised as a serious health risk, and is one of the community-led approaches that can help improve mental health… Volunteering can help to provide people with ways out of poverty, by giving them new skills and confidence, and aid social integration. This is of particular value to those who are most excluded from the labour market, such as recent migrants or people with disabilities.
But while the benefits of volunteering are clear, there is worrying evidence that the people who could benefit most from giving their time are precisely those least likely to be involved.