International Volunteer Day: The Many Benefits of Volunteer Work
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December 5 is International Volunteer Day – a time to celebrate all the volunteers for various causes across the globe. While you may think of volunteerism as a way to help others, being a volunteer can be incredibly fulfilling and offers the ability to learn new skills, meet new people, help your career, ease stress, and boost happiness. No matter if you donate your time and efforts to a community for older adults like Christian Health or volunteer for another cause or charity of your choice, the following major perks will make your experience a worthwhile and enriching one.
Finding a Sense of Purpose and Community
Helping others through volunteer work is a great way to feel part of something bigger than yourself. Giving back to the community and advocating for a cause important to you will give you a great sense of purpose and meaning. Being a valued member of your community by doing your part and connecting with those within it for the greater good might even inspire you to get even more involved, such as through local politics or other types of advocacy.
Making Friends and Improving Social Skills
Gathering with others who share your passion and care deeply about the same issues is a great way to form new friendships. Volunteers come from all different walks of life, opening you up to meet people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives. It will also help you sharpen your social skills by forcing you out of your comfort zone. Depending on the type of volunteer work you choose, you may have to speak publicly, contact strangers to advocate for your cause, or serve as a caregiver – all roles that require socializing and will significantly improve your active communication skills.
Learning New Things and Gaining Valuable Experience
The hands-on experience of volunteering is a great way to learn new skills that may help you both professionally and personally. Time management, networking, public speaking, teamwork, problem solving, and organization are all useful skills that are honed in volunteer work. These useful talents and your experience in volunteerism make great additions to your resume and will help you stand out against other candidates to future employers.
Improving Mental and Physical Health
Getting out of the house and using your energy to volunteer also has many benefits for your health. If you are an older adult who has retired, volunteering for a cause is a great way to stay active and healthy. Mental health, especially in recent times of lockdowns and pandemic anxiety, is just as important as your physical well-being. Getting involved in volunteerism is a great way to battle isolation and to stay motivated to be productive – great ways to keep your mind as healthy as your body.
Establishing Career Goals
If you’re at a standstill in your career or looking for inspiration for a professional change, getting involved with volunteerism might help you figure out what you’re passionate about or give you relevant experience to start a new career. For example, volunteering as a caregiver in an assisted-living facility might make you realize you’re perfect for a fulfilling career in health care.
There’s nothing like helping others to give you a confidence boost. Making a difference in your community provides a sense of accomplishment and leads to increased fulfillment in your life. If there’s one thing you can feel good about, it’s the value you add to the lives of others by volunteering your time, energy, and caring.
Volunteer at Christian Health
Volunteers are an important part of our mission to provide compassionate care. Each year, more than 300 adults and teenagers provide nearly 15,000 hours of volunteer service to Christian Health. Their selfless efforts include assisting with resident activities, spending one-on-one time with residents, greeting guests at the reception desk, and helping with fundraisers. Our goal is to make the collective volunteer experience valuable for all involved – volunteerism not only greatly benefits the residents and patients (and our team members too!), but it offers the volunteer a meaningful opportunity to help others, meet new people, and gain valuable experience – especially for those interested in a career in health care. There are many ways to make a difference at Christian Health!
For more information on lending your time and talents to the volunteer team at Christian Health, please contact Caroline Silva, Volunteer and Community Outreach Coordinator, at (201) 848-5797 or csilva@ChristianHealthNJ.org.