The enchantment of the holiday season often inspires acts of kindness and sparks the need for many to give back. While it’s a wonderful feeling to add a little more merry to someone’s Christmas, it’s important to remember that volunteers are needed all year round. And volunteers really do make a difference – to other people, to their community and even to their own well-being.
Physical and Emotional Benefits of Being a Volunteer
Health: It has been shown that people who volunteer feel better – physically, mentally and emotionally. In fact, volunteering actually encourages people to become informed about their own health and more proactive in taking care of themselves. Less Stress: Volunteering has actually been proven to help people manage their stress levels. Doing good for others helps volunteers feel less stress and anxiety, which positively impacts their overall health. Purpose: Volunteers often feel good knowing that they have made a difference in someone’s life. The sense of satisfaction that comes from helping those in need creates a greater sense of purpose. Well-being: All these factors combine to create a greater overall sense of well-being.
Additional Perks of Being a Volunteer
Professional Development: Volunteers can make a positive impact and put their professional skills to use. Volunteering can also provide training opportunities that can be added to a résumé or allow a person to explore a new career. Social Benefits: Volunteers connect with new social and professional networks, become part of a team, learn valuable lessons and contribute to a worthy cause.
Volunteering with VA
VA welcomes volunteers interested in making a difference in the lives of Veterans. VA Voluntary Service (VAVS) volunteers honor America’s Veterans by helping VA staff deliver care that improves the health and well-being of these brave men and women. With more than 75,000 volunteers, VAVS is one of the largest volunteer programs in the Federal Government.
QuickFact: There are 9.12 million Veterans enrolled in the VA Health Care System. The VA has 143 hospitals and 1,234 outpatient sites.
Help build a community that gives their Veterans the support and care they’re earned. For more information on the volunteer opportunities available at VA medical facilities, see the QuickSeries guide: Become a VA Volunteer