The physical, mental health, and other benefits of volunteering

Source: Asbury Park Press
Active schedules can make it difficult to find the time to volunteer. Those who make the effort, however, can reap numerous benefits. The right volunteer fit can help individuals find friends, reach out to the community, learn new skills, and protect their mental and physical health. The topic was the focus of the New Jersey Governor’s Conference on Volunteerism and Service…held…at the Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick.

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With the theme “The Power of One,” the event highlighted New Jersey’s 1.5 million volunteers and offered more than 20 workshops on topics including disaster response, volunteer management, campus and high school service, social media, service to veterans, team building and fundraising. There was also a corporate track tailored to the interests of New Jersey’s business volunteers.
Community connection is its own reward for volunteers, with new friends, expanded networks and enhanced social skills among the benefits for those who dedicate their time. Volunteering also is a powerful experience for children.
Regarding mental and physical health, research indicates that those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer, according to the Corporation for National & Community Service. Those who donate their time also can gain career experience, learn valuable job skills, and add fun and fulfillment to their lives.
When it comes to volunteering, passion and positivity are the only requirements. Attendees included volunteer managers, volunteers, board members, corporate volunteers, disaster responders, executive directors, youth and college volunteers, faith-based groups, AmeriCorps members, health and hospital volunteers and government volunteer coordinators.

Barnabas Health offers a variety of volunteer opportunities for community members. For more information, contact one of our Volunteer Services departments.

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