Volunteering Helps Others and You

Reviewed Sep 14, 2016

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Summary

Not only does volunteering give you a personal sense of satisfaction, it helps develop self-esteem and boosts energy levels. 

If you’re a volunteer, you probably have one or two personal reasons for why you do it. Maybe you want to give back to your community, support a cause you feel strongly about, or meet people who share your interests and values. Maybe you just do it for fun.

Whatever your reason, while you’re busy dedicating your time to helping others, you are benefiting, too.

Research has shown that volunteering provides individual health benefits. Those who volunteer have lower mortality rates and lower rates of depression later in life.

Researchers aren’t exactly sure why volunteering is so beneficial, but they think it may be because it provides meaning and purpose in people’s lives. Not only does volunteering give someone a personal sense of satisfaction, it helps develop self-esteem and boosts energy levels. Consider these findings from research over the years:

  • Older volunteers are most likely to receive greater health benefits from volunteering.
  • Volunteering leads to greater life satisfaction and lower rates of depression.
  • Individuals who volunteer live longer.

Finding what’s right for you

Think volunteering sounds like too much work? The great thing about it is that it can be fun—there are thousands of options to choose from. Consider volunteering with a friend or family member. Think of your skills, what you enjoy, and what’s important to you. If you’re not outgoing and the idea of serving soup at a homeless shelter or organizing a social event for your church makes you nervous, consider helping someone learn to read. If you love kids, look into the Special Olympics. If you’re not the athletic type, spend time visiting residents of a nursing home. There’s something for everyone.

Volunteer resources

There are many organizations that need volunteers. The resources below can help you get started.

Resources

American Red Cross
www.redcross.org/volunteer/become-a-volunteer#step1

Citizen Corps Council
www.ready.gov/about-citizen-corps

Community Emergency Response Teams
www.fema.gov/community-emergency-response-teams

Corporation for National & Community Service
www.nationalservice.gov

Easter Seals Society
www.easterseals.com

Habitat for Humanity
www.habitat.org

United Way
www.unitedway.org

United We Serve
www.serve.gov

VolunteerMatch
www.volunteermatch.org

Volunteer.gov
www.volunteer.gov

By Melanie O'Brien
Source: The Health Benefits of Volunteering: A Review of Recent Research by the Corporation for National and Community Service, April 2007, www.nationalservice.gov

Summary

Not only does volunteering give you a personal sense of satisfaction, it helps develop self-esteem and boosts energy levels. 

If you’re a volunteer, you probably have one or two personal reasons for why you do it. Maybe you want to give back to your community, support a cause you feel strongly about, or meet people who share your interests and values. Maybe you just do it for fun.

Whatever your reason, while you’re busy dedicating your time to helping others, you are benefiting, too.

Research has shown that volunteering provides individual health benefits. Those who volunteer have lower mortality rates and lower rates of depression later in life.

Researchers aren’t exactly sure why volunteering is so beneficial, but they think it may be because it provides meaning and purpose in people’s lives. Not only does volunteering give someone a personal sense of satisfaction, it helps develop self-esteem and boosts energy levels. Consider these findings from research over the years:

  • Older volunteers are most likely to receive greater health benefits from volunteering.
  • Volunteering leads to greater life satisfaction and lower rates of depression.
  • Individuals who volunteer live longer.

Finding what’s right for you

Think volunteering sounds like too much work? The great thing about it is that it can be fun—there are thousands of options to choose from. Consider volunteering with a friend or family member. Think of your skills, what you enjoy, and what’s important to you. If you’re not outgoing and the idea of serving soup at a homeless shelter or organizing a social event for your church makes you nervous, consider helping someone learn to read. If you love kids, look into the Special Olympics. If you’re not the athletic type, spend time visiting residents of a nursing home. There’s something for everyone.

Volunteer resources

There are many organizations that need volunteers. The resources below can help you get started.

Resources

American Red Cross
www.redcross.org/volunteer/become-a-volunteer#step1

Citizen Corps Council
www.ready.gov/about-citizen-corps

Community Emergency Response Teams
www.fema.gov/community-emergency-response-teams

Corporation for National & Community Service
www.nationalservice.gov

Easter Seals Society
www.easterseals.com

Habitat for Humanity
www.habitat.org

United Way
www.unitedway.org

United We Serve
www.serve.gov

VolunteerMatch
www.volunteermatch.org

Volunteer.gov
www.volunteer.gov

By Melanie O'Brien
Source: The Health Benefits of Volunteering: A Review of Recent Research by the Corporation for National and Community Service, April 2007, www.nationalservice.gov

Summary

Not only does volunteering give you a personal sense of satisfaction, it helps develop self-esteem and boosts energy levels. 

If you’re a volunteer, you probably have one or two personal reasons for why you do it. Maybe you want to give back to your community, support a cause you feel strongly about, or meet people who share your interests and values. Maybe you just do it for fun.

Whatever your reason, while you’re busy dedicating your time to helping others, you are benefiting, too.

Research has shown that volunteering provides individual health benefits. Those who volunteer have lower mortality rates and lower rates of depression later in life.

Researchers aren’t exactly sure why volunteering is so beneficial, but they think it may be because it provides meaning and purpose in people’s lives. Not only does volunteering give someone a personal sense of satisfaction, it helps develop self-esteem and boosts energy levels. Consider these findings from research over the years:

  • Older volunteers are most likely to receive greater health benefits from volunteering.
  • Volunteering leads to greater life satisfaction and lower rates of depression.
  • Individuals who volunteer live longer.

Finding what’s right for you

Think volunteering sounds like too much work? The great thing about it is that it can be fun—there are thousands of options to choose from. Consider volunteering with a friend or family member. Think of your skills, what you enjoy, and what’s important to you. If you’re not outgoing and the idea of serving soup at a homeless shelter or organizing a social event for your church makes you nervous, consider helping someone learn to read. If you love kids, look into the Special Olympics. If you’re not the athletic type, spend time visiting residents of a nursing home. There’s something for everyone.

Volunteer resources

There are many organizations that need volunteers. The resources below can help you get started.

Resources

American Red Cross
www.redcross.org/volunteer/become-a-volunteer#step1

Citizen Corps Council
www.ready.gov/about-citizen-corps

Community Emergency Response Teams
www.fema.gov/community-emergency-response-teams

Corporation for National & Community Service
www.nationalservice.gov

Easter Seals Society
www.easterseals.com

Habitat for Humanity
www.habitat.org

United Way
www.unitedway.org

United We Serve
www.serve.gov

VolunteerMatch
www.volunteermatch.org

Volunteer.gov
www.volunteer.gov

By Melanie O'Brien
Source: The Health Benefits of Volunteering: A Review of Recent Research by the Corporation for National and Community Service, April 2007, www.nationalservice.gov

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, quizzes, and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, health care, psychiatric, psychological or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2017 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

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