Volunteer work enhances one’s sense of self-worth and connection to the local community, in addition to the benefits for those who receive volunteer help. Studies have shown that volunteer work can lead to reduced depression, and improved life satisfaction and sense of well-being. One study showed that adults age 55 or older who do organized volunteer work appear to live longer, a finding that has been confirmed by other researchers.
There are volunteer opportunities in every community. The Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency whose mission is to increase volunteering and community service, runs a website at www.serve.gov. Other resources are also available online.
The biggest barrier to doing volunteer work is often taking the first step to get involved. Take the time to help yourself by helping others.