Wellness Blog

Blog Post

Why Donating Your Time Is Good for Your Health

Not only is it #WellnessWednesday, but we are in the middle of celebrating National Volunteer Week 2020!  So, for this week’s installment, I will try to answer the question: why volunteering is good for your health.

Have you ever wondered why people volunteer and what keeps them coming back week after week? Volunteering should be a two-way street. Not only should the organization benefit from the service of volunteers, but the volunteer (you) should receive some form of gratification and enjoyment from it. If you’re not, then speak to your volunteer coordinator immediately.

So, what are the benefits I’m referring to? Keep reading to find out!

Research demonstrates that volunteering can decrease the risk of depression, especially in adults 65 and older. When you engage in a volunteer activity on a regular basis, you’re meeting new people and creating social interaction which helps build a support system. It gives you something to look forward to each week.

Volunteers are needed to help an organization fulfill its mission and achieve its goals. Our Pathways to Education tutoring program would not be as successful without the support from volunteer tutors. While volunteers help high school students work towards achieving their academic goals, it allows our staff time to focus on the other critical pieces that students need such as accessing food supports, navigating and connecting them with mental health services, and assisting them with their post-secondary applications.

Many people volunteer to gain valuable skills before entering or returning to the workforce. What better way to learn and offer existing skills than by volunteering? Volunteers are essential to everyday processes, providing volunteers with a sense of purpose.

Perhaps you’re retired and want to stay physically active. Why not volunteer with a youth drop-in program? Or maybe you are a busy daycare provider and want to volunteer to do something less physical but still utilizing the skills you have. Roles such as organizing and assembling fundraising packages or entering data that will be used to track how many clients accessed our walk-in counselling services. Whatever it is, you’ve chosen to volunteer at an organization that means something to you, and in return, you’re supporting your physical and mental health.

Studies show the more you volunteer, the happier you are because you’re releasing dopamine. Hello Happiness Effect!! Who knows, volunteering might even help you live longer.

If you’d like more information on how you can volunteer with Carizon, please contact me at kmcarthur@carizon.ca.