Most people seek volunteer opportunities to give back to their communities and to help improve the lives of others. Whether it is through educational, health, or recreational sectors, volunteering can create powerful changes in society.
One unexpected benefit of volunteer service is that volunteering can actually help the person doing the service. In fact, the Mayo Clinic Health System states that volunteering can decrease the risk of depression. This health benefit especially applies to people over the age of 65, as volunteer work increases the capacity for social interaction and meeting people with similar interests.
Volunteering also helps people remain physically active and experience better mental health. Whether a volunteer job includes creating healthy food boxes or cleaning up a local park, chances are that the job involves a lot of moving around. Mayo Clinic has also found that volunteers typically have better physical health than people who don’t volunteer. Volunteers also feel more satisfied with their lives after giving back to others.
The pandemic has created plenty of possibilities for volunteers who are looking for opportunities to help their communities. Some resources for finding consistent volunteer roles include:
If you have a constantly changing schedule or don’t wish to make a commitment to a specific organization, you can always find volunteer opportunities on your own. Keep an eye out for people in your neighborhood who might need an extra hand these days. Do you have an elderly neighbor who might need assistance with getting groceries? Maybe there is a single parent that is struggling with childcare that would appreciate an offer to baby-sit for an afternoon.
Take advantage of the extra time you have in your schedule, and find a way to help someone who might be going through a hard time. You just might find that you end up better off yourself.