If you have ever volunteered, you may have noticed that you felt great afterwards. Perhaps it was a boost in your mood, a feeling of gratitude for what you have, enjoyment at being part of a team or an overall sense of achievement that you have made a difference outside normal humdrum of citylife.
Volunteering is a wonderful exercise for every individual, office network and community: whilst achieving things for those in need it releases such a feel-good factor that by helping others you also help yourself.
Most people volunteer without expecting any reward, to support a cause that they are passionate about but in doing so they focus on another aspect of life. A project that often destresses them from their normal chores.
Still need convincing? Here’s a list of even more reasons to get involved:
- Volunteering helps you build your community whilst strengthening your own social network. Always a winner in Hong Kong.
- Humans are social creatures by nature: volunteering you ward off loneliness, increase brain function and lower risks of depression and anxiety. It is also thought to improve your own immune system.
- Build stronger bonds with your friends, family and coworkers. People build closer relationships to people when they work together for a cause, a great reason to introduce CSR to the office.
- Voluntourism – relax and unwind abroad whilst giving back. What a way to destress!
- Mental health and happiness are greater in volunteers: people are given a sense of purpose through volunteering. It in turn improves self-esteem and has been recorded to positively impact those with symptoms of depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder or anger management issues.
- Teens should be encouraged to volunteer as they gain confidence and feelings of self-worth through volunteering in what is often a trying time of change.
- Physical exercise is often involved in volunteering so it’s not just the mind that benefits, reports carried out by the Corporation for National and Community Service in the US suggest that people who volunteer over 100 hours a year live longer and lessen their risks of dementia. Social service improves elasticity of the brain.
- Helps CVs – if you volunteer in an industry or community that is relevant to your passions it will help you professionally and if you are about to write those college applications, you certainly look more of a team player if you give back to the community.
- Volunteering offers its own form of education to the benefit of the volunteer as many learn new skills.
- If you are a company owner or manager, consider allowing your employees to carry out volunteer days during work time. Not only will it increase morale and productivity in the office but you can apply for good corporate citizenship awards such as the caring company scheme: volunteering is a win-win for everyone.
So after all is said and done, what’s stopping you? It’s proven that volunteering is life-saving for the beneficiaries and life-changing for the volunteers. Let’s get out there, collaborate and engage with our communities.