The Top Eight Reasons to Volunteer
CRDF is fortunate to have had many volunteers help us over the past twelve years. Volunteers host fundraisers, serve on the board, and even travel to Haiti to help with projects.
We have a brat fry on Friday, August 17th at Festival Foods on College in Appleton, 10am-5pm. Like all of our events, this wouldn’t be possible without volunteer support.
We want to give a big thank you to our volunteers and Ashley (our volunteer coordinator). We also want to take this opportunity to reflect on volunteerism in our world: how does it benefit ourselves and our communities.
Volunteering benefits your body
Let’s start with the most concrete reason: it helps your own physical body. The act of volunteering brings positive changes, such as lower blood pressure. Also, a 2012 study published in Health Psychology found volunteers live longer. However, the study found that the expanded life expectancy applied only to those who volunteered for altruistic reasons. Shockingly, volunteers who did not volunteer for self-less reasons did not reap the benefit.
Volunteering supports your mental health
The way you feel about life is often more important than your physical state of being. Luckily, there’s a strong link between volunteering and a balanced life. Some of the mental health benefits that volunteers reap are: enriched sense of purpose, improved mood, lower anxiety, higher self-esteem, lower stress levels, and generally feeling healthier.
You meet new friends
Volunteering is one of the top ways to become more connected to your community and meet new people. When you volunteer, you meet others that share your passions and and see them on a regular basis.
You hone your skills
Getting your foot in the door or gaining relevant experience can be difficult. Volunteering is a great way to tackle these roadblocks. Young interns may come to mind, but volunteering to build your skills is not something that is limited to those early in their careers. Do you want to learn more about marketing or graphic design? Ask a nonprofit if you can design a flyer for them. Are you thinking about getting a dog? Volunteer at your local humane society to interact with dogs of different breeds and sizes.
You build your community
Somethings seem too big. Hunger. Homelessness. Crime. But volunteers know that real change happens and lives are changed. When you contribute to your community in an area you’re concerned about, you become more educated about the problem, instigate real change, and inspire others to take action.
It goes around, comes around
We all need help at some point in our life. It’s a beautiful moment when someone wants to take care of you, just because you’re you. Pass that care on and graciously accept when help is offered to you.
It adds up when we work together
The Corporation for National Community Service says that volunteers contribute the equivalent of a $184 billion donation with their annual volunteer hours. However, we can do more. Right now, only about 25% of Americans volunteer. Imagine the impact if everyone volunteered to a cause they cared about.
You do good
There’s a lot of benefits to volunteering, but the most important one is that it does good in the world. Look at CRDF. Our organization is run by a volunteer board and our fundraisers are supported by volunteers. Together, we’ve provided 12 years of education to students who would otherwise have gone without. That is powerful. And every charity, nonprofit, or community organization will tell you the same thing. Volunteering is powerful.
Thank you to each and every one of our volunteers over the years. We wouldn’t be here with out you.
Outside links with more info about the benefits of volunteering: