People volunteer for all types of causes and for different reasons.
With a compassionate heart and a genuine desire to help others, volunteers give of their time, energy and skills.
People who volunteered with businesses and nonprofit organizations became invaluable resources.
Research shows that volunteer connections have many additional benefits beyond giving back and providing help.
According to research, volunteering improved the overall improved health and well-being for the volunteer.
“Volunteering is important because it provides engagement with others, teamwork, and the feeling of completing a goal,” said Pennie Stagnitta, director of Food For The Poor’s Volunteer Program. “Volunteering reminds you how blessed you truly are. It is good for your soul!”
In this post, we will look at six ways the heart of giving is a mutually beneficial partnership bringing significant value to organizations and health benefits to volunteers.
6 Added Benefits of The Heart of Giving
The invaluable contributions provided by volunteers plays an important role especially for nonprofit organizations.
Their support helps organizations realize goals they might not otherwise be able to achieve with staff alone.
And while there are many advantages to enlisting volunteers, we found six mutually beneficial ways the heart of giving adds value to the community and the volunteer.
1) Giving From the Heart Helps Stretches the Reach of Organizations
Volunteers can contribute immensely to an organization’s bottom line in both business and nonprofit sectors.
Their personal sacrifice of time, energy and expertise can help stretch an organization’s budget and increases the quality of available services.
The Corporation for National and Community Service found that 60.7 million Americans volunteered more than 4.1 billion hours of service.
With an estimated economic value of $122.9 billion, the overall financial value those volunteers provided by helping their neighbors and communities was significant.
In 2022, Food For The Poor formalized its volunteer program and hundreds of volunteers responded to assist the charity in its warehouse and provided office, clerical, event and prayer ministry support.
In the program’s inaugural year, Food For The Poor volunteers contributed 2,772 hours of service and yielded an estimated $82,190 of economic value for the charity.
2) Building Communities With Heart
Volunteering is where sacrifice and compassion work together to inspire and encourage people to action for the betterment of the communities where they live.
“Compassion ignites volunteerism,” Stagnitta said. “Volunteers are compassionate. That is why they want to volunteer – to make a difference in the lives of others.”
When people choose to donate their time and give from their heart, they often meet others like themselves.
And by connecting with people who share their values, they help foster friendships across neighborhoods and communities.
3) Making Friends and Influencing People
Volunteering is one of the best ways to meet people, make new friends and strengthen existing relationships. Participating in a shared activity or working together for a common cause helps expand your social network and provides the chance to improve social skills and learn new skills.
Volunteers at Food For The Poor represent many different backgrounds, places and faiths, and they have different reasons for volunteering.
“It’s amazing how quickly the friendships are already starting,” Stagnitta said. “These individuals come together not knowing one another, unless they bring a friend. And that happens regularly. But for the most part, people come from all different walks of life. People like being part of a team.”
Plus, it has the added benefit of personal fulfillment. “The end result,” she said, “is the satisfaction of knowing you helped, that you made a difference.”
4) Achieving a Renewed Sense of Purpose and Emotional Balance
Let’s face it. We all want a reason to get up in the morning.
When we donate our time at places to volunteer and give energy to a cause we love, we renew our sense of purpose.
Volunteering has been shown to boost self-esteem and self-confidence while providing an improved sense of purpose.
Spending time helping others gives a sense of meaning and appreciation for both the volunteer and the beneficiary, which can have a stress-reducing effect.
5) A Healthy Heart and a Healthy Mind
Studies show there is a connection between volunteering and improved psychological health.
According to the National Institute on Aging, “volunteering promotes brain activity and improves a person’s cognitive health. As a result, volunteering may help reduce the risk of developing dementia.”
Studies have also shown that giving with heart can have a positive effect on overall health and well-being. Volunteering can combat depression and loneliness reduce stress levels and improve moods.
The Corporation for National and Community Service found that individuals who participated in volunteer activities experienced a lower incidence of depression compared to those who did not volunteer.
Stagnitta agrees with that 100 percent. “I had a volunteer say this today: ‘Thank you. I feel complete again.’ That’s huge. It means that that person felt empty without doing her volunteer work. And it completes her.”
6) Fun at Heart
Volunteering is fun! And who doesn’t like fun.
According to Stagnitta, Food For The Poor volunteers are having plenty of fun and enjoying their experience.
“We laugh so much,” Stagnitta said smiling, adding that if she had to call them and tell them they couldn’t come, they would all be extremely disappointed, noting that it would ‘be a sacrifice for us to have to give up’ volunteering. “It’s a blessing.”
Volunteering provides numerous opportunities to learn new skills, meet new people and maybe even find a new career path.
It has been said that if you are doing what you love you will never work a day in your life!
Volunteering is one way to discover what you love.
When we give, we feel better. When we feel better, our well-being improves, giving us the energy and motivation to act. And when we act, we make things happen!
Open Your Heart and Change Your Life
Volunteerism is beneficial for people who want to give of their time, energy and heart by spending time doing what they are passionate about.
Find the passion that suits your goals and your desires. For every want, there is a need for volunteers.
Follow Your Heart
You can make a difference in someone’s life. Become a volunteer and discover a whole new world of possibilities! Visit us today at www.FoodForThePoor.org/volunteer