At a recent fundraiser for one of my favorite animal rescue shelters, I was warmed by the number of volunteers and donors who sacrificed time and money to make their community a little better. Just at that fundraiser alone, there were people who organized the event, volunteers who registered guests and sold raffle tickets, businesses and individuals who donated auction items and raffle gifts, artists who designed and created flyers and posters, and so much more. The funds raised that day help the shelter to keep the lights on, buy necessary medication, transportation costs, etc. That's not even the whole story. Regular volunteers feed, socialize the animals and clean up after them at the shelter every day. Because room is limited at the shelter, some people open up their home to foster animals while they are waiting for their permanent homes.
I'm sure I have missed more than half of the people that keep rescue shelters and charitable organizations running smoothly. But, why do people spend their free time working so hard rather than relaxing on a beach or taking in a movie? It turns out there are wonderful rewards to helping others and doing good. From an article in U.S. News, Philip Moeller wrote, "whatever the motive, volunteering improves the health, happiness, and in
some cases, the longevity of volunteers. Children who volunteer are
more likely to grow up to be adults who volunteer. Even unwilling
children who are forced to volunteer fare better than kids who don't
volunteer. And in a virtuous circle, communities with lots of volunteers
are more stable and better places to live, which in turn further boosts
In that same article, five reasons were given for why people volunteer.
1. They have an interest in learning more about an issue.
2. They feel better about themselves.
3. They learn new skills and abilities.
4. They feel like they are helping their community
5. They are serving for religious or moral convictions.
From past studies, the more people volunteer, the happier they feel, the better they feel about themselves, the more connected they will feel to others and they will feel much healthier! So the moral to the blog is to get out there and volunteer. Get your kids plugged into volunteering. It will be the best thing you have ever done for yourself!
Watch the video we created at a recent fundraiser for the Fieldhaven Feline Center:
To read more: http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2012/04/04/why-helping-others-makes-us-happy