Perhaps the first and biggest benefit people get from volunteering is the satisfaction of incorporating service into their lives and making a difference in their community and country. The intangible benefits alone—such as pride, satisfaction, and accomplishment—are worthwhile reasons to serve. In addition, when we share our time and talents we:
Connect to others
Transform our own lives
Over the past two decades a growing body of research that indicates volunteering provides individual health benefits in addition to social ones. This research, presented by the Corporation for National & Community Service in a report titled “The Health Benefits of Volunteering: A Review of Recent Research,” establishes a strong relationship between volunteering and health: those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer.
Older volunteers are the most likely to receive greater benefits from volunteering, Volunteering provides physical and social activity and reinforces a sense of purpose at a time when their social roles are changing as we age. Some of the study findings also indicate that volunteers who devote a “considerable” amount of time to volunteer activities (about 100 hours per year) are most likely to exhibit positive health outcomes.
Senior Friendship Centers was founded nearly 40 years ago, on the belief in volunteerism – People Helping People. We believe that when we help others, we are really helping ourselves. Today nearly 1200 volunteers contribute more than 88,000 hours per year, at in-kind value in excess of $4.5 million annually. Volunteers are the fuel that runs this non-profit organization, outnumbering staff 3:1.
Volunteers serve in nearly every aspect of the agency. Here are just some examples of the kinds of things they do:
Volunteer physicians, dentists, pharmacists, nurses, dental hygienists, clinic aides and office assistants provide more than 25,000 visits annually to low income and uninsured seniors, many of whom would otherwise go without care .
Volunteers provide vital support services, delivering meals, telephone reassurance and friendly visits to elders who are isolated and alone.
They assist frail elders in the adult day services programs, and help family caregivers through the Caregiver Resource Center.
They teach classes and assist with running the Friendship Centers, They serve meals, help people access help, and to Friendship at Home Volunteers,
Volunteers are the heartbeat that makes it possible for this organization to serve thousands of older adults in our communities annually. For more information on how you can become part of People Helping People, call 941.556.3249.