According to the Corporation of National & Community Service, 1 in 4 Americans volunteer in their community while 2/3 spend time helping their neighbors. Everyone knows how volunteering helps the community, but few people think about the personal benefits of volunteering.
- Volunteering Links You to Others within Your Community
Volunteering helps you make new friends and contacts, as well as increasing your social and relationship skills. One of the best ways to create and maintain friendships is to participate in a shared activity together.
- Volunteering is Beneficial to Your Mind & Body
It’s no secret that volunteering is beneficial to the community, however it can also have a huge impact on your physical and emotional health. As you help others, you’re creating a natural sense of accomplishment which can boost your confidence, self-esteem and give you a sense of purpose. It can also help you stay healthy through physical activity. Volunteering in parks, nature reserves or beaches helps the environment, but it also can lessen symptoms of chronic pain (not to mention give you a beautiful view!).
- Volunteering Can Advance Your Career
Volunteering can help you gain experience in your ideal field – plus you can network within the organization and make professional contacts. Volunteering also gives you the opportunity to practice important skills used in the many professions such as teamwork, communication, problem solving, project & task management, and organization. It also gives you the opportunity to work in a job field without making a long-term commitment.
In a press release, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service Wendy Spencer said, “We are calling on Americans to volunteer in their communities, and to invite their friends and families to join them. Volunteers enrich our communities and keep our nation strong. Service also connects us with our neighbors and provides a chance to use our skills for the common good. There are so many ways we can make a difference for those in need, during the holiday season and throughout the entire year.”
If you’re looking to volunteer but don’t know where to start, take a look at the Corporation for National and Community Service’s “Volunteer Opportunity Finder”. It asks you to include your location and personal volunteer interests (ex. 9/11, Disaster Preparation, Veterans, Elderly, or Homeless) and it will find organizations and causes within your community.
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