March 2, 2017

Volunteering and its Surprising Benefits

A simple act of kindness can make a tremendous impact on someone’s life-Author Unknown. And how true is that. People impact one another every day, whether it is through a simple smile or volunteering at a local community center. A simple act of kindness can make all the difference. At Sage Oak we like to think that kindness stems from serving one another and impacting the student’s we serve. In addition to making a difference in someone’s life, volunteering can also have some surprising benefits as can be found here (a synopsis is below).

  • Volunteering increases self-confidence. Volunteering can provide a healthy boost to your self-confidence, self-esteem, and life satisfaction. You are doing good for others and the community, which provides a natural sense of accomplishment. Your role as a volunteer can also give you a sense of pride and identity. And the better you feel about yourself, the more likely you are to have a positive view of your life and future goals.
  • Volunteering provides a sense of purpose. Older adults, especially those who have retired or lost a spouse, can find new meaning and purpose in their lives by helping others. Whatever your age or life situation, volunteering can help take your mind off your own worries, keep you mentally stimulated, and add more zest to your life.
  • Volunteering combats depression. A key risk factor for depression is social isolation. Volunteering keeps you in regular contact with others and helps you develop a solid support system, which in turn protects you against stress and depression when you’re going through challenging times. Working with pets and other animals has also been shown to improve mood and reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Volunteering helps you stay physically healthy. The physical activity involved in certain forms of volunteering—such as environmental projects in parks, nature reserves, or beaches—can be good for your health at any age, but it’s especially beneficial in older adults. Studies have found that those who volunteer have a lower mortality rate than those who do not, even when considering factors like the health of the participants. Volunteering has also been shown to lessen symptoms of chronic pain or heart disease.

So as you think about how you can make an impact on someone’s life, also think about the benefits you personally gain from volunteering. The simple act of kindness will not only influence the person on the receiving end, but you as well.

In the next blog, we will turn our focus on how our students are serving and showing simple acts of kindness to others. We will look at how they are volunteering and impacting someone’s life. Please share your volunteering experiences with your TF, so that we may highlight them in our blog.