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3 Reasons Seniors Should Volunteer

Blog | September 20, 2018 | Reading Time 4:00 Minutes

What is a human’s most fundamental need?

According to an article on Social Health, the answer is the need to be needed. They go on to describe this need as “an individual’s sense of significance; the feeling that they have a community, group, or individual that needs them.”

While this answer may be somewhat surprising, in other ways it’s not – the idea that people long to have a purpose is not new. So what can people do about it? The easiest way to fill your need to be needed is to find something that you’re passion about and volunteer.

Not only does volunteering fill a basic need, but it also is helpful in 3 specific ways.

1. Volunteering Helps the Cause

Do you have a cause that’s close to your heart? Maybe you love animals or have a passion for the arts. Maybe you identify with the lonely widower or the parent struggling with a child’s health issue. Maybe you’ve lost a loved one to a disease with no cure or you want to see the community of your childhood restored. For some people the cause that their passionate about is obvious, for others it takes some soul-searching and thought.

It’s important to find a cause that speaks to your heart so that you can pursue it passionately and truly make a difference. Once you have a cause in mind, then you can plan the best way to use your time, resources, and skills to benefit that cause. Maybe it’s something as simple as sending letters, delivering homemade goodies, or sewing blankets – or maybe you want to get your hands dirty and be a regular working volunteer.

Only you can decide what your cause is and in what capacity that you will serve, but the important thing is that you do it!

2. It Helps Others

In today’s busy world, volunteers are hard to come by. Seniors and retirees are the perfect demographic to help fill this need. The more volunteers an organization has – the less burden there is for each individual volunteer, so by volunteering even a little bit you can help prevent the staff and other volunteers from getting burnt out.

This is in addition to the fact that the actual work you will be doing will benefit others as well. Whether helping serve meals to the homeless, volunteering to walk dogs at the local animal shelter, planting trees at a local park, assisting with a fundraiser for a local children’s hospital, or reading books to kindergarteners – all of these volunteer activities are impacting the lives of others and helping to make a difference in your community.

3. It Helps You

Last, but not least, volunteering can improve your own wellbeing. Beyond fulfilling a basic “need to be needed”, people who volunteer are also known to have higher self-esteem and greater joy. Working together with others can reduce feelings of loneliness and can help you to take your mind off of yourself and your own problems to focus on a bigger purpose.

For many seniors, the fear of isolation and being forgotten is very real. Volunteering is a way to ensure that you stay connected with others and the social interaction is good for both your mind and soul. It’s impossible to feel forgotten when you’re constantly on the go and see real change in the lives of others thanks to your efforts.

“Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.”

― Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

So what are you waiting for?

You have the time, wisdom, and skills that many volunteer organizations are lacking. By putting your time and skills towards something worthwhile, you can feel better about yourself and make a difference in the community.

It’s never too late to make an impact, so decide what cause you want to support and get volunteering today! Your cause, community, and character will thank you for it!

For ideas on ways that you can get involved, contact the friendly staff at Heritage Pointe.