5 Reasons We Should Volunteer Why Should We Do It?

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Many may wonder why should we volunteer? Here is a good list to get us thinking. When asked about why a group of folks took time out each week to volunteer, here were some of their answers: to feel needed, to share a skill, to get to know a community different from myself, to demonstrate commitment to a cause or a belief, to gain leadership skills, and to accomplish a civic duty.

Volunteers are love in motion. Unknown

Five Reasons We Should Volunteer:

(1) Studies have shown that volunteers live longer and healthier lives.

(2) Volunteering can help you establish strong relationships.

(3) Volunteering can complement your career.

(4) Volunteering helps society.

(5) Volunteering gives you a strong sense of purpose.

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“Why volunteering makes us healthier is rooted in biology. One of the best ways to get your mind off your aches and pains is to get your mind on someone else,” says Stephen Post, coauthor of Why Good Things Happen To Good People: How To Live A Longer, Healthier, Happier Life By The Simple Act Of Giving, and Director of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics at Stony Brook University. This is one of the important lessons my Mama taught me: “When you are down, help someone.” Click here and here to read earlier posts which illustrate this important reminder.

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

Anyone who has done any amount of volunteering for any measure of time would likely agree that when we give to others with our heart (not from thought of benefit or reward) that we can reap benefits which are glorious and unimaginable. Simply being a good listener, expressing joy and humor, or offering a genuine, friendly smile, can contribute to lighting up another person’s life. Volunteering can have many surprising benefits!

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A collage project by one of my EXT friends.

One cool thing about volunteering is that you can choose an area that you are passionate about. If you love animals, spend some time helping out at a rescue shelter or a Veterinarian’s office. If reading inspires you, spend some time reshelving books at your local library. If you miss having little ones in your home, consider contacting a local indigent hospital, like Grady Memorial Hospital and rock babies one afternoon a week. I have chosen The Extension as one of my main volunteer opportunities for Volunteerism since it opened in 2009, because the raw courage exhibited by the women who reside there challenges me in my journey.

It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice. Unknown

My friend, Tammy and I meet up with the ladies there every other Wednesday and have an art therapy/collage activity with them. My friend and I agree that this commitment makes a real difference in our lives, and we believe it encourages the current Extension residents, as well. My personal desire to give back to the community has been renewed by the fact that I am making a difference, no matter how small. Click here to watch a quick video, one of may favorite tales about helping out: The Boy and the Starfish.

IMG_0094Oh, and volunteering does not have to be a weekly commitment. It may involve simply providing a meal for a family who is dealing with adversity or giving a ride to someone who needs one. Just being on the look out for who’s in your path, you will soon see many ways to lend a hand.

Studies have shown that volunteering is particularly beneficial to adults age 65 and older, and those who serve more than 100 hours each year. Volunteers are more likely to report a greater sense of well-being, and of purpose and meaning in their lives, than nonvolunteers. Older adults, who may be prone to social isolation, volunteering can offer strong social networks and a way to stay active in the community.

There has been a debate for some time now regarding whether or not high schoolers should be required to earn a certain number of community service hours. While time management is a real issue, having raised two young adults, we have seen significant benefits of their involvement in their community and beyond. Click here to read about many of the positives that can come from your teen being involved in service, whether it is required, or not. I am proud to know 15-year-old Aidan, who is on a mission to share the joy and necessity of giving to all. Aidan is a speaker, singer, and songwriter and you can like his Facebook page here. Aidan’s website is Aidan Cares.

I would love to hear in the comments below what you have chosen to do as a volunteer.

If you haven’t gotten involved as a volunteer, why not consider starting today?

Group of Hands Holding Letter Volunteer

A few more collage projects from my Extension friends:

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a bookmark

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4 thoughts on “5 Reasons We Should Volunteer”

  1. I volunteer at Unless U in Birmingham. This is a program that serves young adults with developmental disabilities through continuing education, life skills and social skills. These young adults are truly a blessing to me. The best moment last week was hearing them sing “Our God is an Awesome God”. Such a blessing! Check them out at Unless U.org.

    1. HI Treva!!!! Thanks for your response here…Just like I mentioned in my post, we can choose something we are both passionate about and skilled in…YOU are doing exactly that. Thanks for pointing out how much you are blessed as you volunteer…And I have a lot of readers who live in Birmingham who just may want to check this out, so thanks for leaving the website.
      Love you, always, Cuz!

  2. The love of Christ in our lives compels us to care, share, and help those in our community and world. God has uniquely gifted each of us and equipped us to be salt, light, and difference makers in our world. In the new testament we read that Jesus was moved by compassion as he moved about and met people’s needs.

    God has called me to meet the needs of orphans, Widows, and the poor. Proverbs tells us that when we give to them we lend to the Lord.

    For the past 6 years we have been called to serve earthquake orphaned children in Haiti in partnership with Pastor Olistin Estecoeur and New Covenant Baptist Missions. God has blessed us with many partners for this journey of service. Read more about our ministry at http://www.Help4Haiti.org.

    I have found God’s calling on my life for my life’s second half after career and raising family. I tell friends that I feel ik I’m drinking life from a fire hose when I am serving others.

    In the words of Matthew West…just do something!

    1. HI Louis…Yes! WE are compelled, for sure! And it is a complete privilege when we are able to make a difference, big or small. So very inspired by the work you, Nancy, and many others are doing for the widows and orphans in Haiti…Such a big need, I know…and you are making an impact! Thanks for leaving the website so others can learn more about this great cause. Hugs to you and your family, especially as you all prepare for Andrew’s wedding…how exciting for the loving couple!

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