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As our summer or summer months draw to a close; there is no better time to do one more bucket list item, volunteering. Among us – 50% have a health condition which makes it hard for some to get involved. Luckily, perfect health is not a condition of getting involved – but, funnily enough – getting involved could be the key to living a longer healthier life.
In Service of Others
Doing things for others benefits both participants and those in need. This summer for example, my roommate has been employed part time at Windrush farm (Click Here) which provides animal therapy for children with special needs, veterans as well as survivors of sexual assult. By working with a variety of ages and conditions and my roommate has seen the benefit provided by animal therapy. Similarly, another friend of mine worked at Camp Sunshine – a camp that gives children with life threatening illnesses a chance to escape from the hazards and stresses of their daily lives. Both of my friends have seen the results of providing for others and in return, they have gained a personal sense of wealth and achievement.
In fact, Harvard Health Publishing has data to suggest that volunteering not only holds mental health benefits but can improve your health, lengthen your lifespan – and lower your blood pressure (Click here).
How Getting Involved Helps YOU
The main factors of getting involved are: Labor, Time, and an Open Mind.
In high school, my call to serve came from my parents and peers. Programs offered at school and a mandatory service requirement gave students an opportunity to earn more than a diploma. In each situation, I always entered hesitantly and left feeling much more exhausted – but equally fulfilled. In my experiences, I have worked with ESL (English as a second language) students and volunteered my time by helping students, churches, and the elderly. I have used power tools, plucked mangos from trees and learned more about myself than I had ever thought possible – but none of this would have happened had I been too stubborn to keep an open mind.
My community involvement has reduced stress, taught me about the world around me, and educated me about religion. It has taught me the value of a smile, the power of a helping hand and added value to my life.
Aside from community benefit – service lowers your blood pressure, assists with mental health and allows you to get active. All in all, volunteering doesn’t just benefit others – it turns your health into real wealth.
Not everyone knows what to do to find opportunities nearby – sometimes those who do hesitate for personal reasons; we understand this. If working with children is not your calling – working at a food cupboard or at a local institution could be. At the end of the day, the opportunities to serve your community are endless.
Get Involved! Start by following one of the links below
Kids Health from Nemours click here
Psych Central : 7 Simple Ways You can Get Involved in Your Community click here
Habitat for Humanity click here
March for Our Lives click here to see what you can do to stop gun violence
Forbes: 5 Surprising Benefits of Volunteering click here
And for those who have a passion for animal therapy and working with a variety of people Windrush Farms is always looking for volunteers to get involved and learn more about options to help click here.