What gets you out of bed in the morning? For some people, it’s the career they’ve dedicated their lives to. For others, it’s raising kids and building a family. Whether it be work, hobbies or spending time with family and friends, we all want to fill our lives with things we are passionate about. But, what happens when we still don’t feel fulfilled or feeling that we are doing all that we can with our time?

Without a sense of purpose to keep us moving, it’s easy to feel a bit lost or aimless. Even with plenty of hobbies, friends to spend time with and family gatherings to enjoy, it’s common to feel like something is missing from your life.

In this post, we’ll share ways to fill that space with things you’re passionate about while also doing something good for your community. Who knows, you might find that volunteering brings the renewed sense of purpose you’ve been craving. You may also discover other benefits of volunteering that hadn’t crossed your mind.

Volunteering decreases the risk of depression

Research has shown that volunteering leads to lower rates of depression, especially for individuals 65 and older. Volunteering increases social interaction and helps build a support system based on common interests — both of which have been shown to decrease depression.

Volunteering gives a sense of purpose and teaches valuable skills

Volunteer as a family! Children watch everything you do. By giving back to the community, you’ll show them firsthand how volunteering makes a difference and how good it feels to help others and enact change. It’s also a valuable way for you to get to know organizations in the community and find resources and activities for your children and family.

Volunteering helps people stay physically and mentally active

Studies have found that those who volunteer have a lower mortality rate than those who do not. Older volunteers tend to walk more, find it easier to cope with everyday tasks, are less likely to develop high blood pressure, and have better-thinking skills. Volunteering can also lessen symptoms of chronic pain, reduces stress levels, and reduce the risk of heart disease. That all sounds like a win-win!

Volunteering may help you live longer

Yes, it sounds too good to be true, but this benefit is actually well-documented. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and its Longitudinal Studies of Aging found lower mortality rates among individuals who spent time volunteering when compared to individuals who did not engage in volunteerism. Additional studies have found that the benefits of volunteering can lead to a reduction in chronic pain and depression and can even lower your blood pressure as well. Is it possible that a charitable, giving soul can enjoy a longer more fulfilling life? Maybe.

Volunteering helps you meet others and develop new relationships

Not only can you meet new people, fine-tune your social skills and expand your network; volunteering can leave a legacy of giving that will be remembered by many for years to come. Simply sharing a volunteer experience can impact others and motivate them to also explore ways they too can make the world a better place.

Explore Volunteer Opportunities in Broome County Today!

Now that you know some of the benefits of volunteering, are you ready to get out there and make a difference? The best part about the volunteer opportunities in Broome County is that it’s easy to find a cause you feel passionate about supporting. To get started, check out our volunteer page, where you can explore volunteer opportunities and fill out the volunteer profile form, sharing with us your interests, skills, and experience, making it easy to find the perfect fit for your passions or level of commitment.

Mark your calendars!

United Way of Broome County’s Day of Caring is Friday and Saturday, September 13 and 14. Over 1,000 volunteers come together to support our community during these days, commemorating those that lost their lives on 9/11.

Interested in volunteering during Day of Caring or do you have a project that needs to be completed? Reach out to Joni Kaiser to get started!

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