What you get by giving back as a volunteer

There is so much to gain and so little to lose by sharing some of your time as a volunteer. Your contributions vastly help improve the communities where you live, work and play. In addition, there are numerous physical and mental health benefits for you. Here are some of the things you get when you give back as a volunteer.

Community Connections
Becoming a volunteer in your area means you’re helping to make your community a better place. Plant a community garden, read to kids at the library or lend a hand at a town festival to create a closer connection between you and your community.

Healthier mind and body
A study published by the Corporation for National and Community Service titled, “The Health Benefits of Volunteering,” found that volunteers have a higher functional ability, lower rates of depression, less incidence of heart disease and lower stress levels. In other words, volunteering helps contribute to what experts call the “happiness effect.”

Tap into the power of “you”
Volunteering may be a real confidence booster by giving you the chance to try a new skill (or enhance existing skills) and come away with a true sense of achievement.

Volunteering also gives you a chance to extend your social network and strengthen existing relationships by committing to a shared activity together.

The 2018 “Volunteering in America” report found that 77.34 million American adults volunteered the year before. Altogether, volunteers put in nearly 6.9 billion hours, worth an estimated $167 billion in economic value.

Career enhancement
Enjoy carpentry? Do you find that your business or life lessons could benefit others? Maybe you’re passionate about a product or service you use and want others to reap the same benefit. Volunteer with a like-minded organization. The experience could also be the first step toward learning a new skill that translates to expanded job duties.

April is National Volunteer Month. Contact your local nonprofit or area chamber of commerce website for opportunities to get involved.

Article provided by Local Government Federal Credit Union.