Volunteering Brings Meaning and Joy

One of 2018’s most popular New Year’s resolutions is to “be a better person.” This year, make a difference by giving back!

A Marist Poll released on Dec. 20, 2017 found that the top New Year’s resolutions for Americans in 2018 were tied between weight loss and being a better person. If yours is the latter, volunteering is a great step in the right direction. Good people give back – and volunteering is a rewarding way to do so. If you’ve never volunteered before, here are seven great reasons to consider giving it a try.*

  • Make a difference. Many nonprofits, schools, and civic organizations depend upon volunteers to provide needed services to people in need. Your volunteer efforts – no matter how small – ensure these organizations can continue their good work.
  • Find a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment. It feels good to do good. When you help others, you boost your own self-esteem and confidence.
  • Gain problem-solving skills. Volunteering is a learning lesson – you are putting yourself in a new situation with new variables and trying to succeed. By working with new people in unfamiliar situations, you gain valuable problem-solving skills that you can apply to the rest of your life.
  • Strengthen communities. When you volunteer, you are telling people in need, “Your community cares.” You are also demonstrating that you care; that you are part of the community and willing to give of your own time to make a difference.
  • Connect with others. Volunteering connects you to a network of fellow volunteers – other people who are interested in making a difference and in giving back. It’s a great way to meet like-minded friends and to connect with people outside your typical social group.
  • Transform your own life. Volunteering gives you a new perspective. By giving back, you gain the ability to see how small acts of kindness can make a lasting difference in someone else’s life. It shows you your capacity to make change, and puts your own struggles in perspective.
  • Improve your health. Studies have shown that people who volunteer may live longer, remain more mobile, and be less likely to experience depression than those who do not volunteer.

January is International Quality of Life Month. Why not work to improve your own life and someone else’s by volunteering in your community? As famed poet Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

*Tips adopted from the Corporation for National and Community Service. Read more at nationalservice.gov.

Volunteer With Us

The Masonic Homes is actively seeking volunteers to assist with a variety of recreational activities that keep residents’ lives vibrant and fun! Here are some examples of the many ways that you can get involved:

  • Escort and provide companionship to residents for on-campus special events, such as birthday and anniversary dinners and seasonal concert series.
  • Accompany residents and staff on local outings to restaurants, plays, sporting events, and more (Tickets are free for volunteers!)
  • Lead games of BINGO or assist residents in reading their cards
  • Pop popcorn and help pass it out to residents
  • Distribute books, movies, and music to residents’ apartments
  • Post flyers around campus for upcoming events
  • Administrative work/data entry
  • Teaching courses on a particular topic or skill

To learn more about volunteering at the Masonic Homes, please contact Carlene Voss, volunteer and community resources program manager, at (510) 429-6469 or volunteerservices@mhcuc.org. Learn more on our volunteer page.

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