Make an Impact on Your Community
Volunteering is a way to serve and make a difference in your community and in people’s lives. It costs little except your time and the rewards are many both for those served and for those serving.
According to data from the Corporation for National and Community Service, “18.7 million older adults – more than a quarter of those 55 and older – contributed on average more than three billion hours of service in their communities per year between 2008 and 20101. Older volunteers meet a wide range of community needs — helping seniors live independently in their homes, tutoring and mentoring at-risk youth, providing financial education and job training to veterans and their families, and helping communities recover from disasters.”
Helping Others Leads to Better Health
Here’s the kicker that you may not know. Research shows that older Americans who volunteer not only live longer but also report fewer disabilities and better health. These studies conducted from 2002 through 2010 found that the effects of volunteering on health and lower mortality were greater than other factors such as income, education, and marriage.
If volunteering is a proven health enhancer for older Americans, it stands to reason that beginning at a younger age is even better.
There are so many volunteer opportunities. Pick something that matters to you. It could be something that tugs at your heart or maybe it is just somewhere where your expertise is needed. Commit and show up. You will be rewarded in so many ways.