National Volunteer Week, first established by President Nixon in 1974 via executive order, allowed us to celebrate volunteers and the work they do. Additionally, the third week in April was a great time to get volunteers involved in local, state, and national non-profits. In 2015, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that only 24.9% of Americans volunteer. That’s a shame. Volunteering has many benefits!
Volunteers Live Longer.
Researchers at the University of Michigan discovered a remarkable link between volunteer work and longevity. Adults over 65 who volunteered at least 40 hours each year to a single cause were 40% more likely than non-volunteers to be alive at the end of study.
Volunteers Can Improve Familial Relationships.
Parents who volunteer with their children get to spend quality time with them. This can help build family cohesion and well-being while also building connections to the larger community. Children will also cultivate positive values and develop a commitment to service.
Volunteers Are More Likely to Find Jobs.
According to a 2013 study from The Corporation for National and Community Service, jobless people who volunteer are 27% more likely to find a job than their peers. That’s because people can gain knowledge and learn more valuable skills while working with non-profit partners. Volunteers can also explore new job opportunities by learning a bit about each business function within the non-profit’s operational unit.
Volunteers Can Improve Their Mental Health.
According to United Health Group, 94% of volunteers say that volunteering improves their mood. They may feel more independent, build better relationships, and gain more self-esteem. Nearly 80% of volunteers said that their contributions made them feel less stressed, too.
Volunteering has other benefits as well. How has your life improved since you started volunteering? Let us know in the comments.