Why, Where, and How to Volunteer

Volunteering is good for mental health. Here’s a quick why, where, and how of volunteering:

Why: A sense of purpose. Seeing that you are needed and can be helpful. Giving is better than getting. Fulfillment. Pride in helping. Meaningful activity. Because you need something to do. Being around people. Build relationships and comradery. Because you are in a bad mood and need uplifting or because you are in a good mood and want to share it. Physically good for you. Challenge yourself to learn and do new things. Increase self-confidence, knowledge, and experience. Decrease depression and anxiety. Family bonding time. Because it’s fun. These are all good reasons; there’s no wrong reason to volunteer! You are needed in whatever volunteer activity you choose to do.

Where: Soup kitchens, fun runs/walks, sponsor a child, foster a child or animal, donate to a food pantry, donate blood, babysit, make cards for people, give with your artistic/creative talents, mow someone’s lawn, pay for the person in behind you in the fast food line, greet or teach Sunday school at church, join a community or work committee, help at a local hospital. Mentor a youth. Clean up trash. Help a single mom clean or work around her house or yard. Adopt a shelter pet. Help at local pet shelter. Work in a community garden. There are so many places and ways to volunteer.

How: Do an internet search of any of the above or ask around- church, work, friends, family, or even ask the librarian. Pick something that interests you and you will enjoy. Don’t over extend yourself- just do what fits and works for your schedule and capabilities.

What do you do for volunteering? What would you be interested in doing?