April is Volunteer Awareness Month

One of the things that makes our country great is the fact that so many people support one another through volunteering to make a difference in their communities. Volunteerism has grown into a national value and helps to improve our communities through providing support for much needed services and causes. This national value seems to be most evident during national tragedies and challenges. When natural disasters affect communities, it is amazing to see the members of that community rally together and be joined by volunteers from throughout the United States.

Volunteering also benefits those giving of their time in many ways.

“Studies have shown that those who volunteer live longer, have greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer,” according to the Corporation for National and Community Service. Volunteering helps us feel more connected to our communities. We develop social networks and friendships that are centered on making a difference when we volunteer. We also can reframe our perspective on the world toward a more positive and hopeful outlook.

All ages can benefit from being a volunteer. Older adults find meaning and purpose in being able to get out and share their talents while making a difference. Those with children are able to teach them the value of being an active participant in their communities and the importance of giving back. Young adults can develop leadership skills through volunteering and serving on advisory boards for schools, hospitals or libraries. No matter what your age, there are many volunteer needs within our communities. By committing a few hours each month, you will make a lasting difference.

Volunteering is a win-win scenario that makes all the difference. For opportunities to give back in your community, visit www.pointsoflight.org/volunteer/opportunities
Source: Corporation for National and Community Service, “The health benefits of volunteering: A review of recent research.”