For good reason, volunteering is associated with being of great benefit to the organization or cause that gets volunteers. But did you know that, on top of being beneficial to the volunteer receiver, volunteering is additionally really beneficial to the volunteer?
I first learned this lesson when I was 16 years old. I took a trip to Haiti with my dad, and there, we played with children and built houses for Haitian families. Although I went into the trip thinking it’d be a good experience, I didn’t know how much the actual volunteer part of it would benefit me. Playing with children and helping build homes was extremely rewarding and proved to have a really great impact on my mental health. Not only was I helping in volunteer efforts, but I was also being helped by them, and this was astounding to me.
Since going to Haiti, I’ve been a huge believer in the benefits that volunteering can have on people. As a result, I’ve decided to write a blog about it! So without further ado, let’s get into how volunteering can benefit people, and in turn, how a person can benefit from volunteer work.
How Volunteering Can Benefit People
1. Boosts Mental Health
One of the biggest ways that volunteering can benefit someone is by boosting their mental health. When we volunteer, we’re provided with a sense of purpose. Purpose gives us fulfillment, and with this fulfillment, our mental health improves. Volunteering can be extremely beneficial in helping people feel rewarded because they’ve made a positive difference. This, in turn, boosts mental health!
2. Improves Physical Health
In addition to improving mental health, volunteering can also improve physical health. Volunteer activities such as cleaning up parks, working at a community garden, and repairing a home can provide opportunities for physical activity, which is evidently beneficial to physical health. On top of that, volunteering has also been linked to the reduction of chronic diseases, a lower risk of anxiety and depression, improved cognitive function, and better sleep quality. If those aren’t reasons to start volunteering, I don’t know what are!
3. Fosters Social Connections
Another way that volunteering can benefit someone is by helping them foster social connections. Societally, volunteering tends to happen in group settings. With this being said, when we volunteer, we often do so with others, and these others are more than not people that we haven’t previously met. Volunteering provides people with great opportunities to meet others, and these connections can turn into lifelong friendships.
4. Increases Career Opportunities
Volunteering can also help people increase their career opportunities. Not only does volunteer work provide people with the chance to network with one another and create valuable connections, but it also gives people the chance to work in different settings and explore different fields, all at zero cost! Volunteering can be really beneficial in helping someone figure out what they want to do in life, and it’s also a great resume builder.
A person can benefit from volunteer work in multitudes of ways, and that’s why it’s so great! From boosting mental and physical health to helping foster social connections and increasing career opportunities, it can have both diverse and immeasurable impacts on peoples’ lives.
So if you’re looking for a great way to give back to your community while also benefiting yourself, I would strongly recommend that you volunteer. Help is always needed, and you may be surprised at how much volunteering can help you!