Helping Yourself Through Community Service
What’s in it for me? This is the age-old question everyone asks themselves when presented with an opportunity. Volunteering is no different, but the good news is that there is a lot in for those who participate.
Engaging in customer service is good for your health. Studies have shown improved physical and mental health for those who partake in volunteer or community service activities. Volunteering strengthens the immune system. This is especially true for older adults, with maximal benefits coming at about 100 hours of service. Volunteering has shown lower rates of depression, and those that volunteer live longer and have lower rates of heart disease. Qualitative surveys have found higher rates happiness, self satisfaction, and self-esteem. This is, in part, due to reduced stress and increased positive emotions like optimism and joy. Often feelings of anxiety come from thinking about oneself too often, and focusing one’s energy on any activity is meditative, this is especially true for helping others.
Volunteering helps your community. Or, put selfishly, helps build a better place for you to live and raise your family. Also, city budgets are spread thin and volunteering saves money for the community. This is money that can be spent on other projects.
Meet others from diverse backgrounds. The volunteer community attracts all ethnicities and creeds brought together by a common goal – helping build a better place to live, helping spread joy and happiness, and helping each other. This is therapeutic and helps open minds.
Community Service builds self-esteem. Personal growth is often achieved by helping others. More tangible, however, is the visible respect you earn from your peers, those you help and anyone else made aware.
Learn and build your resume. Employers and colleges are often looking for a range of skills and interests. Volunteering is commonly found on resumes and linkedin profiles and portrays a willingness to be a team player. There are hundreds of different types of volunteer opportunities, be selfish and find one that allows you to solve complex problems, one that you can reference in your next interview.