Benefits of Volunteering
Nov 04, 2014 03:51PM
Volunteers are often the glue that holds a community together. Even helping out with the smallest tasks can make a real difference in the lives of people, animals, the environment and organizations in need.
One of the best ways to make new friends and strengthen existing relationships is to commit to a shared activity. Volunteering also strengthens ties to the community and broadens support across networks, exploring with those of common interests, neighborhood resources, as well as fun and fulfilling activities.
While it might be a challenge to coordinate everyone’s schedules, volunteering as a family has many worthwhile benefits. Children watch and mimic their parents. By giving back to the community, they are shown firsthand how volunteering makes a difference and how good it feels to help others and enact change.
Volunteering can increase self-confidence, self-esteem and life satisfaction while engaging a natural sense of accomplishment. It can assist in providing a sense of pride and identity.
Reducing the risk of depression is another important benefit. A key risk factor for depression is social isolation. Volunteering develops contacts with others and helps individuals develop a more solid support system.
Volunteering is healthy at any age, but it’s especially beneficial for older adults. It can increase physical and mental activity along with a sense of appreciation for continuing to contribute to society and the well-being of others.
Volunteering may offer a chance to experience a new career possibility without making a long-term commitment. It’s also a great way to gain experience in a new field like volunteering at a hospital or a nursing home for those interested in nursing or caregiving career opportunities.
While learning new skills can be beneficial to many, it’s not a requirement for a fulfilling volunteer experience. The most valuable skills that any volunteer can offer are compassion, an open mind, a willingness to do whatever is needed and a positive attitude.
Explore some different volunteer opportunities in your community such as at community centers, churches, schools, animal shelters, local businesses and more. Everyone benefits!
For more information on volunteering opportunities in South Jersey, visit SJVolunteers.org/ or AmericanTowns.com/nj/collingswood-make-a-difference.