While most people already have their hands full with their jobs, families, friends, and hobbies, it may be hard to find time to help others in need. However, statistics show that in 2017, over 130 million people in the United States donated their time and effort to charity.
What drives this 31% of the American population to volunteer?
Whether you recently got promoted or made a step forward in a relationship, there are moments in life that make you stop and think of how lucky you are to have whatever you have in your life right now. Sometimes, that feeling of gratefulness inspires you to make other people have something to be thankful for, too.
On a less upbeat note, another reason why people choose to help others is tragedy. Natural disasters and humanitarian crises activate in people the need to step up and do something to lessen the suffering of others. After the terrorist attack at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, more than 250 nonprofit organizations were founded, raising over $700 million in donations.
Be it out of happiness or despair, the fact remains that the principal reason why people volunteer is for good old altruism. Helping others is an unparalleled opportunity to give back to the community’s less fortunate and underprivileged.
Volunteering for self-improvement should not be taken for selfishness because for most, it’s only a secondary reason to give back. But helping yourself while you help others? Not a bad deal.
It’s no secret that charitable activities pad your resume and improve your career prospects. A study on volunteerism conducted by Deloitte has found that 76% of employers consider previous charity work as an attractive quality in a job applicant. Former volunteers give the impression of being well-equipped with skills and confidence that one can only get from a real world experience.
On top of all the benefits of volunteering, it’s also scientifically proven to improve mental and physical health. Positive social interaction has long been established to improve mental health by fostering a sense of deep connection with other people, thereby encouraging happiness. A study conducted at Carnegie Mellon University discovered a correlation between significant volunteering hours and lower blood pressure, while a Johns Hopkins study in 2012 found a link between volunteering and longevity in women over 65 years of age.
It’s a valuable secret of life that any act of kindness, no matter how big or small, can make you feel like you’re part of something bigger. Volunteering is a positive, meaningful way to connect to people around you. In fact, its impact ranges from something as small as meeting new people and establishing new friendships, to something as big as successfully addressing a community’s needs.
For others, for self-improvement, and for community – for whatever reason you do it, make sure you do it more. The world always has room for kindness. Go here to learn about some different ways to help promote a nonprofit organization.