5 Personal Benefits of Volunteering

A recent 50-state Gallup Poll, published earlier this month, revealed charitable giving habits by each U.S. state for period of time in 2013.

The categories were the percentage of residents who:

  1. Donated Money
  2. Volunteered Time
  3. Yes to both

According to the poll, Utah ranked #1 with 71% of its residents donating money, 56% volunteering their time and 48% doing both.

Minnesota, Hawaii, South Dakota and New Hampshire rounded out the top 5.

On average, across all 50 states, 63% of residents donated time, 41% volunteered time and 33% did both.

These are encouraging stats. But, what is equally encouraging is that volunteering your time may help you live longer!

A separate study by the Corporation for National & Community Service (CNCS) showed that in general, residents in Utah, New Hampshire and Minnesota who had higher volunteer rates also had lower mortality rates and experienced less incidences of heart disease.

So, if you’re willing and able to use your talents to help others, here are the top 5 personal benefits of volunteering.

Volunteering:

  1. Helps build local community. Volunteering gives you the opportunity to connect with your community on a different and more in-depth level and make it a better place to live.
  2. Increases Job opportunity. Volunteering increases the odds of finding employment.   A study by the Corporation for National & Community Service showed that volunteers have a 27 percent higher chance of finding a job after being out work than non-volunteers.
  3. Lessens chronic pain. Studies have shown volunteering may alleviate chronic pain.
  4. Lowers depression and improves health. Due to making connections and social mixing, volunteering may help lessen the feelings of depression. It also reduces the feeling of isolation. Volunteering time should also reduce stress levels by releasing higher of amounts of oxytocin and may make you feel healthier by strengthening your immune system.
  5. Helps make new and lasting friendships by meeting people with similar interests and improving your interpersonal relationships.