Volunteering is a timeless activity that connects you to your community. It also helps you build new friendships and promotes happiness in a wholesome way. If you are young and starting your career, volunteering can even provide you with experience and insight into different career paths.
In addition to helping others, volunteering brings a host of benefits to your mind and body. With many people suffering from unemployment, family stress and social isolation, there has never been a better time to pick a cause to volunteer your time and talents.
Social isolation is a real risk
During the pandemic, many people are confronting genuine isolation for the first time. Researchers have documented the potentially destructive effects of social isolation, with some results suggesting that being isolated is equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes per day. The US Centers for Disease Control is estimating that nearly 2 in 5 Americans are experiencing social isolation.
Volunteering can help you make friends, something that has been shown to reduce the risk of disease and even help people who are already sick. Simple activities like phone calls and home visits are enough to jump-start the process and help people become connected again.
Give back to your community
One interesting aspect of volunteering is that for many people it begins close to home. While people may not think of taking care of infirm or elderly family as volunteering (and instead think of it as an obligation), the truth is that this is the most basic form of contributing one’s time to a worthy cause.
Anything from spending time with your grandparents to taking care of your baby cousin shows that you care about your family’s wellbeing and want to help them in any way you can.
If you’re looking for something more community-centric, try volunteering at a soup kitchen or delivering meals. For those who are housebound during COVID-19, these most basic services are urgently needed.
Also consider volunteering at your local school. It’s an unfortunate fact that local schools are drastically underfunded, particularly with regard to the arts and sports. Music, sports and art are an essential part of the educational experience, but these activities are the first victims of tight school budgets. If you have skills in any of these areas, volunteering can provide children with an opportunity to experience new things and find their passion.
For those who love the outdoors, there’s plenty of options, such as volunteering at a local park. Clean up trash, start a community little league tournament or join in rebuilding a playground. No matter what suits your interest, there’s a volunteering option out there for you.
Volunteering doesn’t have to stop at the community level either. Habitat for Humanity and other organizations are more structured and technical programs that provide shelter, infrastructure and other essential services for people around the world. Volunteering at this level takes time and planning, but the benefits that are derived from assisting people in literally rebuilding their lives can be transformational for both the people donating their time and the recipient of the service.
Other popular volunteering organizations include the American Red Cross, United Way and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
Whether you focus your efforts on local initiatives or larger organizations, volunteering in your community opens up a world of opportunities for you to learn, grow and meet new people. At First Centennial Mortgage, we are committed to helping people in the communities around us become homeowners. Contact First Centennial Mortgage today to learn more about how we can help you achieve the American Dream.