7 Ways Volunteering Can Benefit Your Health and Well-Being
We know it can be nerve racking starting something new or entering into unfamiliar territory, but there’s so much you get in return for doing something good. There are countless benefits to volunteering, and after reading this you are going to wish you became a volunteer sooner!
For more insight we caught up with Julie D’Esposito, Operation Warm’s National Volunteer and Event Manager.
As stated by Julie, “Many people volunteer to make friends and build new relationships. Volunteering can be a direct and easy way to build your circle of both professional and personal contacts.”
2. Skill Set and Career
“People often seek relevant volunteer opportunities if they want to learn new skills or gain applicable experiences doing things they may want to learn or have recently learned,” says Julie. She has some advice on what to do in a volunteer position to really up your skills:
- Leadership skills: Take on different positions of leadership, such as leading a volunteer team or acting as an advisor/teacher.
- Creativity: Come up with fun ways to raise money.
- Problem Solving: Be open to spontaneous problem solving. When you are exposed to the opportunity to solve small last-minute issues that can come up during a volunteer event, you stretch your problem-solving “muscles.”
- Multi-Tasking: Offer to become a “jack-of-all-trades” volunteer with rotating responsibilities based on the needs of the current project. It improves and proves your flexibility.
- Communication: Listen! Listen! Listen! Ask your co-volunteers about their weekend, show support and emphasize the great work they’re doing. Listen with the intent to help, not to respond. You’ll quickly learn about effective communication in a dynamic environment.
3. Happiness and Enjoyment
“Many people work in jobs where they are doing things they aren’t actually interested in. They may be doing things they don’t care about. They aren’t filling a certain void, and therefore these individuals may look toward volunteer opportunities to meet their needs,” says Julie.
For example: Let’s say that Johnny is a part-time investment banker, and he feels that his job isn’t personally fulfilling. Johnny might want to look into a volunteer job that suits his interests. He has always been an avid dog lover, so he may want to reach out to a couple animal shelters and volunteer to help out with puppy-playtime.
You Can Boost Trust in Your Abilities By:
o Knowing that you are good at doing something meaningful
o Learning and doing things you might not be used to
o Committing to something
o The act of doing
5. Career Experience
There are endless roles in volunteering. A great way to get a taste of a potential career is by volunteering. For example, if you would like to enhance your marketing skills, try them out at a nonprofit! Get your creative senses flowing and help out with creating logos or social media! This is a great way to expand your experience, knowledge, and network.
Getting active with your community and building a support network gives you a break from everyday stress.
According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, “Research demonstrates that volunteering leads to better health.”
“Even when factoring in age, health, and gender, research has found that when individuals volunteer, they are more likely to live longer.”
7. Strong Community
People working together is what drives our communities and our planet! Enhance your life by enhancing the lives around you!
Learn how you can volunteer to help children in your community receive a gift of warmth, confidence and hope!