The benefits of being a volunteer

Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” The dictionary defines a volunteer as, “a person who does work without getting paid to do it.” Though volunteers do not get “paid,” the experience of helping others is an excellent reward. Here are some of the ways volunteering can enrich your life.

Connecting you to your community
You’re helping to make your community a better place by giving a helping hand. Plant a community garden, read at the library or work at a town festival to create a closer connection between you and your community.

Good for your mind and body
A study published by the Corporation for National and Community Service entitled, “The Health Benefits of Volunteering,” found that volunteers have higher functional ability, lower rates of depression, less incidence of heart disease, develop new skills, and cultivate a greater social network. Not only is volunteering good for the heart and mental functions, but it increases the likelihood of a longer life!

Advance your career
Looking for a new hobby or want to dig deeper into something you’re passionate about? Volunteer with that organization. The experience could also be the first step toward learning a new skill that translates to current or future job duties. It might even mean more money!

More fun and fulfillment in your life
“The warm fuzzies,” or that sense of having both fun and fulfillment, is something you likely strive for, but never quite reach. By volunteering, you’re able to give back to causes you’re passionate about and get that much closer to an even happier life.

Whether you want to get involved as an individual, as a department or with others in your community, your volunteer support is a true commodity. According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, in 2014 alone volunteers contributed $5.7 billion dollars’ worth of service.

That’s a lot of time donated and a lot of money saved! Contact your local non-profit or area Chamber of Commerce for opportunities to get involved.

Article provided by Local Government Federal Credit Union.