September 11th means different things to different people. For many it is a time of sorrow and remembrance of lost loved ones. For others, it is a symbol of hope as we remember how we helped each other during this fearful time. We are reminded of what can be accomplished when we look beyond our individual circumstances. Neighbors united to do the work that needed to be done. And who can forget the way people volunteered in droves to assist in search and rescue alongside the first responders? Then there were the volunteers from all over showed their support by donating goods and services. And they did it because they wanted to help their neighbors.
Why Volunteers Matter
Volunteering not only helps local communities. It helps the volunteers as well. Studies have shown that volunteering:
Boosts self-esteem while creating strong social ties that can help one through trying situations.
Builds relationships with other volunteers. Volunteering helps you to make more connections. It helps to help more people than you would normally meet throughout your life.
Contributes to a longer life, less cardiovascular disease, fewer memory problems and lots of social interaction that keeps loneliness at bay.
How to Start Volunteering
The hardest thing about volunteering is making a commitment to yourself to spend one to two hours a week helping others. The easiest things about volunteering is that the need is great and there is a volunteer opportunity for almost any interest you enjoy. Here are just a few ideas that may interest you:
Do you know the best thing about volunteering? It’s one of the few win-win situations around. Whenever we help others, we somehow end up benefiting in unexpected ways. Our society would not be as strong as it is without folks, just like you and I, willing to help those in need. Get started and volunteer today — VolunteerMatch.org is a great place to start.