Volunteering may be for others, but the benefits belong to YOU


There’s a quote going around that says, Volunteers are not paid — not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless. Many people believe their volunteer experiences changed the way they saw the people around them and developed a better appreciation of what they had. It isn’t often that one hour of doing something for others has the power to transform. Yet, it happens every day in a variety of causes.

In fact, volunteering makes people healthier, smarter, and more successful while also helping the community. There are positions available for anyone with any skill in any city. And, in most cases, positions will appreciate any amount of time you have to give. Such is the case at Desert Terrace Healthcare Center. “We appreciate the work of our volunteers,” said Heber Hernandez, director of admissions. “Their willingness to share their time with our staff and residents makes a huge difference in our ability to provide meaningful activities.”

Here are four benefits of sharing our time with others.

1.Volunteers are healthier.

Volunteering is not just about getting out and working with people. Rather, volunteer work has been shown to develop all sorts of health benefits, as well. These benefits range from lowered cholesterol in Canadian teens to lower mortality rates in older adults. It seems volunteers have enviously healthier lives. “We value our volunteers,” said Amy Ross, activity coordinator at Fort Dodge Health & Rehabilitation. “We love the fact that they are here because they want to be. That enthusiasm may offer health benefits to the volunteer, but it also has a positive effect on our entire facility.”

Volunteering and the accompanying health benefits are great reasons to help people. There are even correlations between a decrease in depression and functional limitations and volunteering. You can selfishly volunteer simply for the benefit of feeling less sad.

2.Volunteers are smarter.

Volunteering makes you feel healthier. But it also makes you think healthier. The CDC has urged the American public to take preventative measures against future disease, and volunteers do. In fact, studies have shown that volunteers are more likely to use preventative healthcare services and spend less time in the hospital.

3.Volunteers are more successful.

One of the last great benefits of volunteering is building a resume. If you are reaching for that dream job; volunteering can help you achieve it. In fact, volunteering can demonstrate a wide range of skills and experiences, many of which are very attractive on a resume. It helps eliminate gaps in your employment history, can help you make connections with other people in the same field, and even land you in a prestigious medical school. All you have to do is find an opportunity that fits.

4.Volunteering is easy.

No matter if your passion lies in healthcare, veterinary work, children or politics, you can find a position that fits your ambitions or career. “Our volunteers truly enhance the work we do to provide a caring, supportive, and positive environment for our patients,” said Cathy Hefko, RN, BSN, director of marketing at Golden Acres Living and Rehabilitation. “The fact that they choose to spend their free time helping with fun activities, interacting with our residents, and sharing their talents means so much to our staff.”

Sites such as LinkedIn and indeed.com can help search for jobs as well as volunteer positions in whatever field you like. And there are long lists of healthcare organizations and businesses that are always in need of volunteers, such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, Habitat for Humanity, and the Peace Corps, as well as volunteer networking sites such as nationalservice.gov and healthcarevolunteer.com. There are always volunteer positions and information in healthcare, and no matter what your skills, desired position, or time commitment, you will be able to find something that fits you.

There are more than enough reasons to volunteer for your benefit. It makes you healthier, smarter, and more successful. It’s easy to get started, and there are always positions ready and open for any time commitment and skill set you have. It’s good for you, and it’s easy to find, so you really have every selfish reason to do it.



A version of this article was originally published by Daily Herald. It has been republished here with permission. 


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