I think that it couldn’t be more important to give back to our communities. If more of us shared more, the world would be a happier place. I love the happiness that I get from giving to others, and I know that if more of us gave back, everyone would enjoy the same feeling of worth.
The good news is that charitable giving in the USA has now reached around $300 billion, and even better, there’s no need to be rich to make a big difference in your community. Just a dollar given to charity can make our world a much better place. In fact, you don’t even need to give any money at all – time is equally as precious. Over 50% of people who volunteer do so because they love feeling useful and want to help others. Not only does it make you feel great about yourself, helping others is really good for improving your health.
Volunteering also increases your self-esteem, makes you feel empowered and can even stimulate endorphin release which boosts the immune system and improves the nervous system. Some people even get a “high” when they volunteer – similar to that experienced when exercising. It may even be able to fight depression and anxiety as knowing that you are making a difference to others can help to make the problems you are experiencing seem more manageable. People who have a wider social circle have a longer lifespan, and volunteering is a great way of building up your social life, improving your physical health and boost your emotional well-being at the same time.
Here are some more great reasons to consider giving back:
Learning new skills – some of the additional benefits of volunteering is the ability to gain new skills, new expertise and greater knowledge. You will find more challenging and interesting opportunities to add to your resume and you may even find it can help you to get a better job.
Social connections – boredom and loneliness are surprisingly common problems among all elements of society, from students to retirees, but volunteering helps to relieve that social isolation and to broaden horizons.
Helping your own community – all of us take something from society, so volunteering is a great way of showing our appreciation.
Growing and developing – volunteering is one of the best ways to find out what you like and dislike. For example, if there is a new career that you are interested in, volunteering in that field can help you to find out if you like it or not.
New perspectives – if you’re feeling down and depressed, your problems may seem to be insurmountable. However, volunteering offers a fresh viewpoint as you see people who have a worse life than you, and it can give you a fresh perspective on your own life.
Knowing you’re needed – feeling appreciated is very important for all of us, and many of us fail to get that feeling of being needed from our home life or paid employment. When volunteering, you often realize that you really are needed and that others depend on you.
Self-esteem boost – lots of volunteers get a boost to their self-worth and self-esteem when volunteering as helping other people makes you feel good.