Nonprofits rely on volunteer labor to deliver goods and services to those in need. Donating your time and talent clearly helps those who receive assistance from a food bank, educational program or other not-for-profit organization. But did you know that you also benefit from being a volunteer?
Various studies have found that volunteering is good for your mind and body, helps you connect to others and brings fulfillment to your life.
Volunteering can make you feel healthier, improve your mood, increase your sense of purpose, keep you mentally stimulated and reduce your stress level. Being a volunteer also can provide a deep sense of happiness, both immediately and long term. Researchers at the London School of Economics found that the more time people spent volunteering, the happier they felt. When compared with people who never volunteered, those who volunteered monthly reported being “very happy” seven percent more often, with this percentage rising to 12 percent for those who volunteered every two to four weeks and 16 percent for weekly volunteers.
Volunteering helps connect you to others, including those you assist. These connections make you part of a larger community and engaged in making it a better place to live. It also helps you make new friends and boost your social skills. This is particularly important as we age and may have less contact with friends or family members due to distance, health issues or even death.
Volunteering is also an enjoyable and easy way to explore your interests and passions. When you are involved in meaningful and interesting activities, volunteering can provide a relaxing, stimulating change from your day-to-day routine. Your volunteer experiences can even provide you with renewed motivation and creativity that can affect other aspects of your life.
SaddleBrooke Community Outreach is committed to providing local children with food, clothing and educational opportunities. We always are looking for volunteers for both long- and short-term commitments. You can help with a wide range of tasks, from staffing the office to helping with fundraising events, tutoring, helping children choose new clothing or serving on our Board of Directors. The opportunities are endless. To become involved, visit https://community-outreach.org/volunteers/ to see a list of volunteer opportunities and to complete an interest form.