Health benefits of volunteering
Volunteering is one of many ways that people can get involved in the community around them.
You get to interact with people, try new things, and even better your health.
There is emerging research that shows volunteering improves the health of older adults who have retired.
"There's an increase in depression, which usually stems from loneliness," says Revathi Truong, Volunteer Manager at Mercy Medical Center. "A lot of individuals have also worked for so many years and worked for a long time, and their identity was really part of their job. Once you retire, sometimes there's a loss in who they are as a person, and they want to re-contribute to society."
Volunteering with the intention of helping others increases psychological and physical well being.
As a volunteer, you are active in your community, all while maybe finding a new purpose in life.
"As a young professional, I feel that my job is a big portion of my identity, and so I can only imagine what that transition is like once they hit the retirement phase," says Truong.
William Burrows, who has been retired for a number of years, volunteers part of his time at Mercy Medical Center.
"The director called me and said 'I think you'd be good at volunteering'." says Burrows.
Burrows volunteers every Thursday, and he enjoys every minute of it, saying it means more than what is seems at the surface.
"I get a lot more out of it than I give. It's therapy for me, really," says Burrows.
That therapy of sorts gives Burrows validation that what he is doing is helping society, and, while he may not even know it, the volunteering is helping him, too.
"They're not here for the money. They are here to help other people," says Burrows.