Volunteering boasts many benefits

Submitted by Rachel Young with Greenhouse Ministries

New year’s resolutions are great, but for many, they are impossible to stick to. Life gets in the way and you eventually slide back into old habits. It can be hard to find a resolution to stick to. But, did you know that volunteering is a great new year’s resolution that will leave you coming back for more? Volunteering has multiple benefits, and here are three of them.

  • Volunteering Keeps You Healthy

Volunteering has proven to help individuals stay healthy, specifically if he or she is 65 years or older. After a person retires, he or she becomes less active and could begin to see their health decline. One author wrote how volunteering has also been proven to lower blood pressure. By volunteering and working for other people, it helps reduce stress and therefore lowers the blood pressure.

  • Volunteering Gives a Purpose

As a person retires, studies have shown that he or she has the possibility of losing their purpose for living. However, when an individual begins to volunteer, he or she finds their calling again. A study done a few years back showed that adults ages 65 and older who volunteered improved his or her mental health due to a personal sense of accomplishment that an individual gains from his or her volunteer activities.

One volunteer at Greenhouse Ministries for example, Bettie Markham, is 83-years-old and has been volunteering for two years. Markham cared for her husband for many years and after he passed away, she lost her sense of purpose. However, when she began volunteering at Greenhouse Ministries, she regained her sense of purpose and is now in changing lives through Greenhouse Ministries’ food pantry.

“After my husband passed away I was really down and out, I felt sorry for myself and all I would do is lay around and watched TV,” Markham said. “I was asked to volunteer about a year after my husband passed and I have loved it ever since. I love being around everyone at Greenhouse and essentially, I have found my purpose for living.”

  • Volunteering Builds Relationships

Help Guide explains that volunteering leads to making new friends who share a similar interest in serving the community. Building relationships through volunteering also allows you to broaden your knowledge about the community and can therefore allow you to share helpful information to others in the future.

Greenhouse Ministries encourages you to check out your local organizations and find out how you can get involved as part of your new year’s resolutions. Greenhouse Ministries, a local nonprofit, offers a holistic approach to giving back to the community by not only providing basic needs, but providing education and connections to other resources as well. In 2016, Greenhouse Ministries had 22,747 volunteer hours – this averages to over 450 volunteer hours a week! Simply put, Greenhouse Ministries could not run without their volunteers.

You might find that spending your time volunteering helps you just as much as it helps others. If you are interested in volunteering at Greenhouse Ministries, please reach out to Julie at julie.young@greenhousemin.org