Strengthen Body and Spirit with Volunteer Work
Americans volunteer their time in a multitude of ways. They may organize fundraisers, coach Little League, or help someone learn to read—to name just a few.
Their work certainly helps others. But did you know it can also improve the volunteers’ quality of life—and even affect their health?
Benefits of Volunteering
Experts say that volunteering is good for people of all ages, particularly older adults. Benefits include higher self-esteem and a greater sense of well-being.
Volunteering may boost physical health, too. Research has found that people who volunteer have lower mortality rates than those who don’t. Studies also indicate that adults 55 and older who volunteer report lower levels of depression after one year.
Several factors may explain these findings. For example, experts say that fostering meaningful relationships, having a strong sense of purpose, and keeping active are vital to healthy aging. Volunteering makes these possible.
Lend a Helping Hand
Do you love children? Are you a tax wizard? Is baseball your passion? Whatever your skills, chances are there’s an organization that can put them to good use. Opportunities range from regular commitments to only occasional help. Be sure to choose something that interests you. And remember: You may get as much out of volunteering as do the people you help.