Every year millions of individuals dedicate themselves to making the world better through volunteer work. According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, about 62.6 million Americans, or about a quarter of the adult population, gave 7.8 billion hours of volunteer service worth $184 billion in 2015.
Volunteerism is lifts up our communities in all sorts of ways.
From hands-on volunteers who clean up litter or serve meals to the homeless, to doctors who offer free health services or lawyers who give pro-bono council to low-income clients — volunteers come in all shapes and sizes. Activism is another kind of volunteer work where individuals take action to create social, political, economic or environmental change. It includes protesters who march, advocates who bring unjust laws to the attention of politicians and campaigners who raise awareness.
The Many Benefits of Volunteering
It Improves Lives
It’s a no-brainer, but volunteering improves lives. Volunteers not only meet basic human needs like food and shelter, but they also provide deeper services like helping women survivors get back on their feet after an abusive relationship and mentoring girls so they can have successful careers.
It Makes Communities Stronger
Volunteer work reminds us that no man is an island unto himself. We all count on others from time to time, and that there is beauty in our interdependence. This sense of the “shared good” keeps communities strong.
It’s Good for Your Health
People who volunteer tend to live longer and healthier lives. They feel a greater sense of satisfaction and an improved sense of belonging. They are at a lower risk of depression and other mental health issues including Alzheimer’s disease. Volunteering has also been shown to lower your blood pressure!
It’s Good for Your Career
Putting volunteer work on your resume can give you a leg up during a job hunt. It demonstrates to employers that you are committed, self-motivating and willing to go above and beyond what’s expected. Depending on the kind of volunteer work, you may also gain valuable experience that can round out your professional skill set!
It Makes You More Attractive
According to Ranker where users vote on the qualities they find most desirable in another person, moral, compassionate and supportive all made the top-10 list. Volunteering is all of those things and more.
It Models Positive Behavior
For children or even other adults in the community, volunteers are a role model for socially positive behavior. When enough people engage in service, it inspires others to step up too!
Here’s Your Chance to Get Involved
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