Volunteering and Community Impact
One of the better known benefits of volunteering is the impact on the community. Unpaid volunteers are often the glue that holds a community together. According to the Cooperation for National and Community Service about 64.5 million Americans, or 26.5 percent of the adult population gave 7.9 billion hours of volunteer service worth $175 billion during a 12 month period.
During its 100 years of existence Jewish Family Service has benefited from many volunteers. These volunteers have made the implementation of the mission of JFS and its impact on the community possible. Commonly translated as Loving Kindness, Kindness or Love, Chesed, is central to Jewish ethics and Jewish theology. Chesed is considered a virtue on its own, and also for its contribution to tikun olam. As you can see Chesed is the basis of a wide variety of communal institutions.
The Health Benefits of Volunteering
Good health is as much of a journey as it is a destination. Traditionally, our health has been left to the care of our doctors, nurses and other health professionals. In recent years we have started to realize that good health means much more than a set of numbers tracking height, weight, heart rate and cholesterol. It starts with the individual. Taking an integrated approach to well being includes physical and emotional health, sense of purpose and connections to our overall quality of life.
A new study by the United Health Group and the Optimum Institute has found a link between volunteering and better physical, mental and emotional health. Here are some of the more interesting findings: Of the people interviewed who volunteered during the last 12 months: 78% of the interviewed said that volunteering has lowered their stress levels; 94% said that volunteering helped improve their moods; 96% said it enriched their sense of purpose in life and more than 75% said that volunteering has made them feel healthier.
Your Connection to the Community
In addition, volunteering allows you to connect to your community and make it a better place. Even helping out with the smallest tasks can make a real difference to the lives of people and organizations in need. And volunteering is a two-way street: It can benefit you as much as the cause you choose to help. Dedicating your time as a volunteer helps you make new friends, expand your network, and boost your social skills.
Jewish Family Service has many volunteer opportunities, small and bigger. Please call Lorrie Loughney at 570 344-1186 x204 to explore how volunteer opportunities can match your interests and passions.