This year, National Volunteer Week is April 12-18. At CCAL, many of our residents engage in local volunteer opportunities, including working with Kiwanis Kids to serve the children at South Elementary; this involves mentoring and tutoring students as well as improving the school grounds and building. We also benefit from the help of local individuals who volunteer at our three houses, from helping organize and facilitate activities to helping maintain the beauty of our homes. We are so appreciative of the work all volunteers do to benefit others.

Volunteering is also beneficial to the volunteer, who garners a sense of personal fulfillment from giving back to the community. But that’s not all; studies continue to show that volunteer work can improve physical health and contribute to healthy aging. Researchers have found that regular volunteer work can help ease chronic pain and reduce the risk for inflammation and high blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart disease.

Volunteering regularly can also help alleviate depression. When we volunteer, we have the opportunity to forge new friendships and develop a stronger social network. Having people we can turn to for support protects us from isolation and leaves us better equipped to deal with stress.

We have so much to gain from donating our time. We get the opportunity to brighten someone’s day while we enhance our own wellbeing. In honor of National Volunteer Month, find something you feel passionate about and volunteer—you won’t regret it!

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