Have you ever felt that warm and fuzzy sensation after helping someone in need? That’s right! We are talking about volunteering. Often organizations in need find lots of new volunteers this time of year as the spirit of the holidays moves them to find a way to give back to their community. If volunteering calls to you, lots of causes need help all year round. And if you find something you enjoy, here are some reasons why you might consider making it a year round habit. According to Berkeley volunteering is one of the most selfless but also selfish acts (the good kind) you can do.
Volunteering is great for your physical, mental, and social health in many ways. MayoClinic explains that volunteering has been shown to improve your physical and mental health, as it decreases stress, relieves anxiety, and even decreases mortality rates. HelpGuide explains that volunteering is not only great for your physical health, but for your social health as volunteering connects you to people who have the same passion as you. Points of Light also discusses the importance of volunteering as it wards off depression as you increase your social connections.
One of the great things about volunteering is the fact that it strengthens you and your community’s mental health. Well Being People explains that as you volunteer and build connections to the other people in your community, you’re also building bonds between each other. These bonds and connections help to strengthen your community, which in turn strengthens you. Now you might be saying to yourself “I don’t need to build connections with anyone else in my community…” Well Psychology Today and Health Line discussed in their articles that volunteering not only strengthens your empathy skills, but it also is self-care for the many reasons discussed above. And being selfless in our volunteering efforts just feels good!
With that in mind, we have taken the time to list out a few places in which you can find volunteer opportunities:
- STEPS – Volunteering with Kids
- Clothes To Kids of Fairfield County (Located in CT)
- Why Not Volunteer?
- Kids That Do Good
- Volunteer Match
- America’s Promise
- The Best Volunteer Opportunities in Connecticut!
- Volunteer Connecticut
- Hartford HealthCare Volunteer
- CCMC Volunteer Opportunities
- Volunteer with United Way
We hope this encourages you to try volunteering this year, and hopefully make it a year long practice! And remember, volunteering does not always mean hard work.