Why volunteerism is important
Modern life is busy, and it can sometimes be difficult to feel connected to your community in meaningful ways. If loneliness and social isolation are becoming a problem, it may be time to make a change. Specifically, it may be time to introduce volunteerism into your life.
In a literal sense, the definition of volunteerism is “the act or practice of doing volunteer work in community service.” But volunteerism doesn’t have to be restricted to the action it describes. Volunteerism connotes a mindset or a philosophy. It can also mean an attitude of service or a willingness to give back to your community — and in doing so, to make the world around you a better place.
As it turns out, volunteerism doesn’t just help the organization, population, or community on the receiving end. Volunteering your time or energy can have amazing benefits for you, too. Below are a few ways that volunteering can change your life for the better:
- Facilitates connection. Volunteering gives you the chance to meet new people and can improve your social and relationship skills. Volunteering with family members or friends can provide an opportunity to spend meaningful time with those people, thereby strengthening those relationships.
- Provides a sense of meaning. A lot of research has been done on the link between altruism and happiness. The happiness that many people feel as a result of volunteering may be related in part to the increased sense of purpose and self-confidence experienced when people are generous with their time and energy.
- Helps lengthen your lifespan. In addition to its emotional and mental benefits, volunteering can improve your physical health. Volunteering can lower stress levels and enhance peoples’ overall sense of well-being, both of which can have positive effects on physical health. Many volunteering opportunities also entail physical labor, which can be a great source of exercise.
While most communities have no shortage of volunteer opportunities, the COVID-19 pandemic has made volunteering more difficult. Fortunately, Kiwanis International clubs all around the world are still serving their communities. Kiwanis club members look at the needs of children in their community and decide on projects that will benefit local kids the most. By coming together with others in your area, you can begin to make your community a better place for everyone in it. Reach out to your local Kiwanis club today to get involved!