Religious organizations benefited from the highest number of volunteer hours, followed by educational programs and programs benefiting young people.
Volunteer work comes in all shapes and sizes. Large organizations such as Habitat for Humanity provide an important service in communities around the world. Habitat builds decent, affordable homes for low-income families; as more people volunteer, more homes can be built. On a smaller scale, local organizations play an important role by building safe play areas or raising funds to provide music lessons for low-income children. Many people believe volunteering will consume their free time. But according to a July article published by National Public Radio, micro-volunteering lets people volunteer in small bits of time, usually through their computer or cell phone.
Each action can be accomplished in a small amount of time, but has a big effect in combination with the efforts of other volunteers.
You can do volunteer work from your home, in your neighborhood or in almost any setting around the world. This flexibility makes it easy to find projects that are convenient and suit your life goals.
Volunteer from home and develop your knitting skills to make caps for premature babies. Or build your professional and personal skills in locations far from home with volunteer groups like the Peace Corps that work exclusively overseas. Volunteer work is important for your health. The Corporation for National and Community Service says that volunteering improves psychological and physical health. And volunteering is a two-way street: It can benefit you and your family as much as the cause you choose to help.
Dedicating your time as a volunteer helps you make new friends, expand your network, and boost your social skills. One of the best ways to make new friends and strengthen existing relationships is to commit to a shared activity together.
Large organizations such as Habitat for Humanity provide an important service in communities around the world. First, while I am a caring person, I did not think to help those in poverty before in the community because I myself grew up in a low income family surviving off food stamps or welfare, so I thought if I am capable of coming out Continue Reading. So, the question remains: why bother volunteering? Volunteering combats depression. Older volunteers tend to walk more, find it easier to cope with everyday tasks, are less likely to develop high blood pressure, and have better thinking skills.
Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, especially if you are new to an area. Volunteering also strengthens your ties to the community and broadens your support network, exposing you to people with common interests, neighborhood resources, and fun and fulfilling activities. While some people are naturally outgoing, others are shy and have a hard time meeting new people.
Volunteering gives you the opportunity to practice and develop your social skills, since you are meeting regularly with a group of people with common interests. Children watch everything you do. By giving back to the community, you show them firsthand how volunteering makes a difference and how good it feels to help other people and animals and enact change.
Volunteering can provide a healthy boost to your self-confidence, self-esteem, and life satisfaction. You are doing good for others and the community, which provides a natural sense of accomplishment.
Your role as a volunteer can also give you a sense of pride and identity. And the better you feel about yourself, the more likely you are to have a positive view of your life and future goals. Volunteering combats depression. Reducing the risk of depression is another important benefit of volunteering. A key risk factor for depression is social isolation.
Working with pets and other animals has also been shown to improve mood and reduce stress and anxiety. Volunteering helps you stay physically healthy. Studies have found that those who volunteer have a lower mortality rate than those who do not, even when considering factors like the health of the participants. Volunteering has also been shown to lessen symptoms of chronic pain or heart disease. I have limited mobility—can I still volunteer?
Whether due to a lack of transportation, time constraints, a disability or other reasons, many people prefer to volunteer via phone or computer. There are many projects where you can help. If you think home-based volunteering might be right for you, contact organizations you like and ask what some of the possibilities might be.
Some volunteer organizations may require you to attend an initial training or periodical meetings. You also want to make sure that you are getting enough social contact, and that the organization is available to support you should you have questions. Helping others kindles happiness, as many studies have demonstrated.
When researchers at the London School of Economics examined the relationship between volunteering and measures of happiness in a large group of American adults, they found the more people volunteered, the happier they were, according to a study in Social Science and Medicine.