Volunteerism Pathways to Healthy Living

Voluntary service is an element of our society that, in some cases, may be taken for granted. For nonprofit organizations, volunteers are the backbone for the success seen by the organization and for volunteers, the time they spend helping others can be life changing. It is common for someone to volunteer to fill some time in their schedule or to help an organization in need, however, few individuals think about the benefits their service can have on their health.

According to the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS, volunteers experience fewer health problems later in life, see higher cognitive function, and experience a longer quality of life as opposed to those individuals who choose not to share their skills and time. In addition, volunteers experience a lower chance of depression and anxiety and a lower risk of cardiovascular problems.

Traditionally, providing service has been viewed as being done in a face-to-face and hands-on setting. Advances in technology have changed the way organizations operate; therefore, creating skills-based needs for organizations and providing more opportunity and flexibility for individuals to serve remotely. Today’s mobile society allows updating a website, knitting a blanket, making phone calls, or hand-writing thank you cards possible from almost anywhere at almost anytime increasing the capacity for the volunteer’s success and satisfaction.

Achieving satisfaction as a volunteer means finding the proper fit with an organization and position. Through evaluating your past work experience, educational background, and the elements of life that make you the happiest, it will be possible to find a position that best fits your needs and lifestyle. A number of websites and organizations exist to assist in pairing individuals with their area of interest.

One of the most common, volunteermatch.com, allows individuals to search for virtual and traditional opportunities. Basic registration on the site is free; therefore, even the smallest nonprofits can find volunteers. Female professionals looking to utilize their talents, may have success providing pro bono service like graphic design, fundraising, strategic planning, etc. through a nonprofit called WomenOnCall.

Want to feel better physically, emotionally, and mentally? Volunteer opportunities that fit your lifestyle are at your fingertips, now more than ever. Consider adding service as a way to bring balance to your life. The BeeHealthy Program provides “community points” that can be utilized for volunteering…ways to engage in the community opportunity for you

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