5 Life-Changing Benefits of Volunteering

The mission of Desert Financial is to share success by giving back to our community, which is why we’re so excited to celebrate National Volunteer Week! During April 19–25, we want to encourage our community and members to make volunteering their personal mission too.

Here’s why!

Health Benefits of Volunteering

76%

felt physically healthier

94%

said volunteering improves their mood

78%

felt less stressed

Sources:

my.happyify.com: UnitedHealth Group survey of volunteers

This spring, start giving a helping hand to those in need! In addition to having good health, experience gratitude, humbleness, connectedness (get a volunteer buddy!), a sense of belonging and these life-changing benefits:

Make Kindness Your M.O.

Kindness is a gift everyone can afford to give. No matter how small, kindness as currency, like volunteering, has the power to make a difference in someone’s day. By spreading kindness, empathy and compassion can grow from within as well. You learn to understand people who are different from you and view the world from a new perspective. Also, kindness is contagious! A good deed can inspire someone else to spread altruism and pay it forward.

Get Out of Your Own Story

Helping others takes the focus off yourself and onto other people. "Many problems that people have in their lives are due to too much self-focus and self-absorption," says Sonja Lyubomirsky, author of "The How of Happiness" and "The Myths of Happiness," on the 10 Percent Happier with Dan Harris podcast. It’s both productive and valuable to get outside of your head and give your mind a break by lending your time to others. Stepping outside of our bubble creates positive, rewarding experiences, which serve as reminders that the world is so much bigger than us!

Replace Things With Service

Joshua Becker, minimalism ambassador and author, advocates for people to own fewer possessions so they can direct their energies, resources and money toward something more meaningful than stuff. Buying something new brings temporary joy, but supporting a cause that’s important to you triggers a helper’s high, followed by a deep sense of happiness over fleeting pleasure. Instead of filling your home with things, fill you heart and soul with purpose.

See the Goodness in Humanity

Does it feel like you can’t escape the negativity that seems to shadow our lives 24/7? From political discourse to an epidemic of narcissism, faith in humanity gets lost. But by giving yourself to the greater good, you’re surrounding yourself with authentically good vibes and connecting with likeminded people who open their hearts to others. There’s so much goodness in our neighbors and volunteering is an opportunity to experience it firsthand. Feel good about your impact, and feel good about humankind-ness.

Discover an Untapped Passion

Find your passion! Do what you’re passionate about! Except — it’s not always easy to know what your passion is. Giving back is an opportunity to discover yours, like helping children, repairing homes, volunteering at a dog shelter or working at a food bank. Seeing the lives you change through a newly discovered passion enriches your life too. If your life is void of a passion, consider supporting a cause that matters to you to discover an unanswered calling.

Interested in doing good? Visit HandsOn Greater Phoenix and Points of Light to find ways to get involved. Love adventure? Become a voluntourist and give back while traveling — or propose/organize an employee volunteer project at your company. Is your time scarce? Make a difference by donating to a charity! One study showed that globally, donating to a charity had a similar effect on happiness as doubling household income!

You can also email Community.Development@desertfinancial.com to get info about Phoenix-area Communi-Team projects at Desert Financial.

Happy National Volunteer Week and happy volunteering!

The material presented here is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to be used as financial, investment, or legal advice.