The Many Benefits of Volunteering
The City of Takoma Park offers a myriad of opportunities to volunteer. Whether it is for a special event (Monster Bash, Celebrate Takoma, etc.), sports (Winter Basketball, Futsal, etc.), senior programs (Fitness, Art, etc.), or for SSL hours, the City of Takoma Park is the place to be for volunteering. Volunteering makes a difference in the lives of others, and you will also benefit in a number of ways. From lowering stress to boosting self-confidence, volunteering offers many health benefits—especially for retirees. Some of the benefits of volunteering are:
- Decreasing the risk of depression.
Volunteering increases social interaction and helps build a support system based on common commitment and interests—both of which have been shown to decrease depression.
- Enjoying a sense of purpose and fulfillment—and increase your self-confidence while you’re at it!
- Staying physically and mentally active. Volunteer activities get you moving and thinking at the same time.
- Reducing stress levels. By savoring your time spent in service to others, you’ll feel a sense of meaning and appreciation—both given and received—which can be calming.
- Experiencing “The Happiness Effect.” The feeling you get after a vigorous workout is the same feeling you get after volunteering. Helping others has that exact same effect—so the more you volunteer, the happier you become!
An example of this is Alice Sims, who teaches art classes for the City of Takoma Park Recreation Department. Alice volunteers her time with the 55+ program. She is an enthusiastic supporter of the 55+ program and dedicated to providing opportunities for seniors to be creative in the arts. Alice makes it possible for seniors to participate in a variety of free arts and crafts workshops, such as basket weaving and painting silk scarves at the Takoma Park Community Center.
Her latest endeavor was the “Empty Bowls” project. Alice worked with the youth in the after care programs at both the Community Center and the Recreation Center locations, as well as the teen program, to make bowls to help bring awareness of hunger in our society. Alice helped the youth paint and glaze the bowls and talked to them about the importance of giving back. Alice said, “I find working on these volunteer opportunities rewarding. After the completion of a project, I feel so overcome with joy.”
Get ready to start experiencing the joys and health benefits of volunteering for yourself. Try volunteering at summer camps, coaching a sport or exploring other ideas. Get active now! Come to Takoma Park and enjoy the opportunities to volunteer. Contact us at 301-891-7290 or search for an activity at www.montgomeryserves.org
Our upcoming Special Events are:
- Egg Hunt, April 20
- Celebrate Takoma, May 18
This article appeared in the March 2019 edition of the Takoma Park Newsletter. The Takoma Park Newsletter is available for download here.