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Long-Term Health Benefits of Volunteering

The impact of volunteerism can be felt in communities of all shapes and sizes. No matter what the size of the community, the impact of volunteers is always huge. It’s not just the recipients who benefit. The plusses for individuals who volunteer their time and talents are far-reaching and can have a dramatic impact on a person’s overall well-being, as well as their relationships with others and career prospects.

Wherever and however it occurs, volunteering exists to help others. But volunteerism’s best-kept secret is this: it’s good for you, too. We did some digging to find out all the reasons why volunteering rocks.

Helping Others
The relationships you can create while volunteering are endless. It provides unparalleled opportunities to connect to others, and if you do it regularly, you can maintain those valuable social networks well into the future.

When you volunteer, you’re also making a direct impact on the people affected by your cause. Whether you’re taking care of malnourished infants, fostering an abandoned or abused pet, or building a home for a family in need, you’re making a tangible change in a life.

That change goes well beyond the obvious fact that you’re helping people. You’re also providing hope. You’re giving people the tools and skill sets they will need to create a sustainable future. When you rebuild a home after a storm, you’re also helping rebuild the friendships that grow there. When you share a smile, you’re decreasing the gap between two people. One of the most essential things that all human beings need is connection. When you volunteer, you provide that for others, and for yourself.

Learning Something New
Live a little! Volunteering gives you the opportunity to explore new skills and interests that you might not get to enjoy otherwise. You can broaden your horizons while helping others at the same time. It might be discovering how to carry out repairs on a home or build one from scratch, or it may be the opportunity to practice your second (or third) language skills with native speakers.

Perhaps you’ll go behind-the-scenes to learn about animal conservation or see first-hand the social and environmental issues affecting communities around the world. No matter what volunteer experience you decide on, there will be countless opportunities to learn new practical, social and communication skills that will help you thrive as a human being.

Building a Community
The relationships you can create while volunteering are endless. In a world where people are more and more focused on online relationships and activities, the benefits of community are eroding. Volunteering is a great way to reverse this decline and rebuild community connections. It’s an ideal way to cultivate friendships as you work together towards the greater good and to reduce the isolation and loneliness felt by many people.

You can make new friends and keep the old by engaging in a common activity like volunteering. With a larger social network, you’ll have more resources at your fingertips, which leads to better physical, mental and emotional health.

From improving your physical well-being to boosting your mindset, volunteering does a world of good. Most times, you can see the impact of giving your time right off the bat. Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity is always looking for volunteers. When you volunteer with us, you’re helping hard-working, limited-income Oklahoma families who need affordable homes. Please know that we need more than mere muscle when it comes to volunteers. We also need helpers who can work in our office or ReStore, or who can serve on one of our committees, among other things.

For more information about volunteering with us, check out our website to see what piques your interest.

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