While being in the mist of a busy life, many people can find it difficult to volunteer. Some people wait to volunteer until they have extra time and money, but the return is greater than the initial investment if you put an hour aside on one of your slow days and insert yourself into your community. People usually expect to volunteer their time and resources without receiving anything in return, however, there are social, emotional, physical and professional benefits to volunteering which are all listed in detail below.

Happier & Healthier

Volunteering can make you happier and healthier. You can probably guess that people feel happy when they are helping others, but how can volunteering make you healthier? A study by United Health and Volunteer Match found that more than 68 percent of those who have volunteered in the past year reported that volunteering made them physically healthier. For that same study, 73 percent of volunteers felt volunteering lowered their stress levels. Improved physical health and low stress levels contribute to your overall health and happiness.

Meet New People

Volunteering gives you the chance to make new connections and expand your network. Networking does not have to mean formal conversations in business professional attire. You can gain meaningful relationships through volunteering by having casual connections with people who have similar interests in supporting a cause.

A Chance For Awards & Scholarships

Volunteering can even help you through college. There are countless scholarship providers dedicated to rewarding students that have given their time to their community. This gives you the opportunity to finance your education while also being able to share your volunteer stories. You can also incorporate your service activities into general scholarships, especially for NSCS scholarships where service is one of the three pillars. Additionally, members can apply to win the President’s Volunteer Service Award for their commitment to volunteering.

Build Your Resume

Many people do not realize the value of adding volunteer experience to your resume. Research by Deloitte found that 82 percent of employers are more likely to hire a candidate with volunteering experience and even overlook resume flaws. This is because volunteering gives you various skills in hands-on activities that can be applied to your career such as communication skills, commitment, responsibility and other strong leadership skills.

There are various ways to volunteer. Be sure to find the activity that best suits your interests. You can find service opportunities through Create The Good that match your schedule. If you have an idea for a service initiative, you can apply to the NSCS Engaging Race Award in the fall for a chance to win a scholarship and fund your own volunteer mission.

Author: Candace Harada, NSCS Marketing Intern