Volunteering offers vital help to people in need, worthwhile causes, and the community, but the benefits can be even greater. Volunteering and helping others can help reduce stress, combat depression, and provide a sense of purpose. While it’s true that the more one volunteers, the more benefits are experienced, volunteering doesn’t have to involve a long-term commitment or take a huge amount of time. Giving in even simple ways can help those in need and improve your health and happiness.
Helping others kindles happiness, as many studies have demonstrated. When researchers at the London School of Economics examined the relationship between volunteering and measures of happiness in a large group of American adults, they found the more people volunteered, the happier they were, according to a study in Social Science and Medicine. Compared with people who never volunteered, the odds of being “very happy” rose 7% among those who volunteer monthly and 12% for people who volunteer every two to four weeks. Among weekly volunteers, 16% felt very happy—a hike in happiness comparable to having an income of $75,000–$100,000 versus $20,000, say the researchers.
- Adapted with permission from Simple Changes, Big Rewards: A Practical, Easy Guide for Healthy, Happy Living, a special health report published by Harvard Health Publications.
Here is a listing of all SBA members who have opportunities available for volunteers.