The other night there was a short blurb on the national news highlighting a group of volunteers in California who are helping single moms. The organization is called Serve a Little and the premise is if each person ‘serves a little’, mega service results. It got me thinking about all the benefits of volunteering, many of which I am sure you’re well aware. But do you know how valuable it is to us as we age? We may not all be seniors yet, but even so, we can reap the benefits as well. It’s also a good idea to suggest volunteer options to those seniors we do know and love who could take advantage of a few of the benefits listed below.
- Volunteering has been linked to improved quality of life, stronger social networks, increased levels of physical activity and lower mortality rates
- Social support is one of the biggest benefits because it helps provide another venue for social interaction. For those seniors not working, their social network is decreased immediately by taking away work-place interactions
- It provides a venue for sense of purpose, satisfaction and well-being
- Volunteering can provide a new skill set or even hone some skills that have grown rusty – not a bad way to increase your value if you find yourself between jobs!
If you are a crafty sort, you may enjoy volunteering for the following:
Binky Patrol – making blankets for children
Crochet projects (such as premie caps)
If you are handy, you can donate some time to one of these:
Habitat for Humanity (there are more projects than you may be aware of) –
Numerous hands-on options at Project Hope
Volunteer Match can match you to the perfect project in your area
If you have kids who need to develop a skill set or have not been able to land that summer job, here are a few options.
Regardless of where your talents lie, there is an organization out there that could benefit from your service. It may surprise you how beneficial the time you donate to others becomes to you also. One person can
only do so much. – M