Volunteering is an honorable and noble act. Offering one’s time to help others for the greater-good is indeed a gallant accomplishment worthy of praise. The many benefits of volunteering are fulfilling, indeed. After all, it is a great way to learn new skills and try new activities, meet new people, have an appreciation for our world and make a difference in the community. However, volunteering is not just helpful to recipients of the service. Did you know that volunteering is also extremely good for our health?
Experts say that seniors in particular, benefit from volunteer work. In fact, studies show that older Americans who volunteer frequently live longer and report less disability. Studies have also shown that volunteers experience increased brain activity and preservation of cognitive function, helping individuals cope with disease or illness. Additionally, the benefits of volunteering have even been found to be greater than other factors such as income, education level or marriage.
A person’s social network tends to decline as they age. However, volunteering can replace these ties. After all, when like-minded people get together, friendships are formed. Furthermore, the many opportunities that volunteering offers have been shown to increase a person’s well-being by staying physically fit, as well as socially active.
Volunteering also helps with grief. Bereaved individuals who volunteer in activities that assist others have been shown to experience a shorter course of depression. Additionally, volunteerism provides a sense of purpose, which can help with issues relating to retiring from the work force or other life changes.
No strangers to volunteering, residents from Monarch Landing have given their time to Feed My Starving Children (FMSC). Since 1987, volunteers from all walks of life have come together for this non-profit, to hand-pack nutritionally complete meals specifically formulated for malnourished children around the globe. Last year alone, over one million FMSC volunteers packed more than 273 million meals!
In April, in honor of National Volunteer Week, Monarch Landing is celebrating our volunteerism. On Monday, April 24th we will be honoring four Monarch Landing Volunteers of the Year. We will also be kicking off a new initiative to enhance efforts in supporting and enriching the lives of our friends and neighbors who are now residing in The Springs at Monarch Landing. Other activities will be taking place throughout the week including the Open House on Wednesday April 26th, which will showcase different volunteer opportunities for residents to take advantage of.
Although the definition of a volunteer is someone who works for nothing, it is easy to see that the health benefits of volunteering, and the invaluable service volunteers provide to our communities, are simply priceless.