Volunteering: Not Just Helpful to Others

Volunteering is a great way to give back and help out the members of your community.  This may be an obvious and self-explanatory statement. However, what some people don’t realize is that volunteering can also benefit the volunteer in a variety of ways. Helping others in need can be done by serving food at the homeless shelter, donating your time at the animal shelter, or donating clothes to the Salvation Army. It can take a variety of different forms, but the underlying theme is that contributing one’s time and energy provides benefits for the receiving individuals and organizations as well as oneself. 

Research has shown that volunteering provides older adults with socio-emotional and health benefits. Volunteering improves the psychological well-being through engagement in meaningful volunteer activities and contribution to others. It can also improve one’s feeling of self-worth and efficacy. However, it is important to find a volunteer opportunity that is personally meaningful and interesting to the person volunteering.

Here in San Luis Obispo, www.volunteerslo.org is a resource for area residents where you can find the right volunteer opportunity of your choosing. In addition, Wilshire Community Services has volunteer opportunities for local seniors ranging from friendly visits to peer counseling. So, lend a helping hand to your community and by doing so, help yourself!

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