The surprising benefits of volunteering
We lead such busy lives these days that even thinking about volunteering can make our stress levels rise. But volunteering actually might be just the right medicine for a hectic life. One of the many benefits of volunteering is that it can help ease stress. Connecting with other people in a meaningful way can provide a profound sense of pleasure that boosts our physical and psychological well-being.
According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, research shows that people who volunteer live longer-and with less disability and depression-than those who don’t volunteer.
“We are very fortunate to have the volunteer base that we do at HAMC. Much of the care we provide requires the help from volunteers, so we depend on them greatly.” States Shelley Block, Volunteer Services Coordinator.
Volunteering also can offer more material benefits. For example, it gives you the chance to try out a whole new career without having to leave your current job. Check out volunteer opportunities at places you might have always wanted to work at or places you frequent. You can talk to the people who work there. You can gain some experience in the field. And you’ll have made valuable contacts if you decide to switch careers.
Volunteering isn’t just for adults. The Volun-Teen Program at HAMC is an opportunity for young people to gain valuable experience for college and future careers. This year’s Volun-Teen program recently wrapped up with a total of 13 students volunteering their time during the summer months.
“Our residents adore the Volun-Teens. Their faces light up when they see them and many have connections through friends and family. They share stories, help and with resident activities and outings. Many times, our Volun-Teens are the reason we are able to do so many outings in the summer, they help with so much.” Adds Block.
Keep in mind that volunteering doesn’t have to involve a long-term commitment or take up a large amount of time. Even helping out a little bit can make a difference in your life and in the lives of those in need. For more information about the Volunteer Program at HAMC contact Shelley Block, Volunteer Services Coordinator at 776.5455 ext. 2315.