When you serve others, you also make a positive impact in your own life. Discover the benefits of giving back.  

By Julie Saetre

As a Kiwanis member, you know how your participation in service benefits kids and communities, from your own city or town to areas around the world. But did you know that your service also helps you? Study after study shows that people who volunteer also make a positive difference in their own lives. Here just a few of the benefits you get when you give back.  

  • You make new friends and enhance your social network. Strong personal connections help you build a support system based on common interests, buffering you against stress. 
  • Your mental health gets a boost. Volunteering contributes to higher levels of happiness, self-esteem, self-worth and life satisfaction. 
  • Your physical health benefits too. The Mayo Clinic, a medical nonprofit, has stated that volunteers report better physical health and have lower mortality rates than those who don’t volunteer — even when controlling for variables such as age and gender. 
  • You broaden your horizons. Service enhances your understanding of diverse cultures and communities. 
  • You foster the development of future leaders. When your Kiwanis club sponsors one or more Service Leadership Program, those student volunteers are more likely to do better in school and become active members of society.