Now that the whirlwind of parties and travel plans has settled, it’s a great time for your family to get started on your New Year’s resolutions and give back to your community.
This year, make volunteering a family affair. You’re familiar with the “feel-good” emotions that come from helping others, but there are even more unexpected ways volunteering will benefit the whole family:
People often feel they are too busy to volunteer. However, a study by the Harvard Business Review found that giving your time to community causes actually makes you feel like you have more of it. Volunteering makes us feel capable and efficient, inspiring us to make the most of each day.
Volunteering during adolescence has been linked to some major benefits such as improved grades, reduced drug usage, and better self-esteem. Engaging your teen or pre-teen in volunteering can really help during their formative years, and the positive effects have been shown to affect their long-term well-being.
Washington University found that adults 55 and older who volunteered had better stamina, memory, and maintained overall health longer than others their age. Volunteers are also more likely to look after their own health and are more focused on adding physical activity into their lives.
Between school and extracurriculars, work and daily responsibilities, it can be difficult to spend time all together. Families who volunteer together have the opportunity to bond over the experience of working toward a shared goal. Everyone brings something unique to the table; you may even learn that your child has a talent or interest you didn’t know about before! Volunteering can help you connect with each other and the community in a new way.
The University of Texas found in a 2003 study that getting involved in helping your community lowers rates of depression and anxiety. By volunteering, the entire family can benefit from bettering their mental wellness and alleviate some of the post-holiday blues.
There’s no better time to connect with your family and make a difference for our hungry neighbors – signup for a volunteer shift at one of our four Centers in Geneva, Rockford, Park City, or Joliet!