The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. -Mahatma Gandhi
September marks the beginning of a new school year and the start of a busier work schedule. As our lives morph from easy summer livin’ to chaos in the fall, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s important. Take a minute. Press pause. Think about this. While schedules become overbooked, the lines at the food shelter don’t get shorter, those little kids down the street still need a mentor, and abandoned animals will still sit in a cage at the local shelter.
The impact that you can have on your community is incredible, but the impact providing service has on you is unfathomable. According to “Benefits of Volunteering” from the Corporation for National & Community Service website, “those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer.” The website links to a research study done in 2006 stating “volunteer activities can strengthen the social ties that impact individuals from isolation during difficult times, while the experience of helping others leads to a sense of greater self-worth and trust.”
It’s easy to fall short in lending a hand to others and become too consumed with our own lives. With all of the benefits community service has to offer, why continue to fall short?
For ideas on how to help in your community or more information on the benefits of providing service to others, visit http://www.nationalservice.gov/impact-our-nation/research-and-reports/volunteering-america.