NEW CASTLE —
You are really helping yourself when you are helping others.
Research showsthat when you volunteer, it improves your health. It doesn’t really matter if it is once a week or once a month, according to stats, as long as you are consistent and feel a sense of contribution it has a positive impact on your health and sense of well-being.
“Volunteers are resolute in their commitment to the nation, serving almost 8.1 billion hours in their communities in 2010 – translating to 173 billion dollars,” according to the Volunteering in America Fact Sheet put out by the U.S. Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics.
This partnership studied volunteering across the country, looking at trends and concluded: Number of volunteers serving nationwide in 2010, 62.8 million; No. 1 state for volunteer rate, Utah. Pennsylvania ranked 28th.
The number one reason why volunteering impacts your health is because it combats isolation. When you make a difference it connects you to others. This is an important human dynamic that brings balance to living. This link has been proven clinically. Extending your time and talents is healing.
Often, volunteers are “the glue” that holds a community together. It brings family and friends together, as in the case of church or school/sports functions, and the overall community benefits.
Making new friends and contacts keeps you current, often grows your own support system, invokes a sense of fulfillment, and develops neighborhood resources. Volunteering also helps you sharpen those social skills and a link to others with common interests.
It turns out that volunteers watch about an hour less of television each day, cutting down on sedentary lifestyle, which can lower your risk factors for heart disease.
Besides boosting self-satisfaction by increasing personal pride and accomplishment, volunteering has also been clinically shown to combats depression, chronic pain and heart disease.
Other perks to volunteering include gaining valuable job skills and career experience. It is likely that you will be building problem solving and teamwork skills, and sharpening your communication and organization.
Consider your interests and look around for an organization or community site where you can make a difference. Consider what causes are important to you and what you have to offer. If you are a recruiter, understand your target audience, create a very detailed recruitment plan, and make your mission clear up front.
At Jameson Hospital, volunteer coordinator, Cyndee Adamo, (724) 656-4660, is the contact for a variety of volunteer options.
“Jameson volunteers are whole heartily committed to making a difference,” Adamo said. “They come rain or shine, sleet or snow, because they want to help people.”
Adamo also is a liaison for the Jameson Junior Guild, which is sponsoring the Paint The Town Pink/Women’s Expo “Pink Robe” campaign during the month of October in Jameson’s Hostess Shop. The goal is to raise money for the Jameson Women’s Center to enhance patient comfort and care.
It is important to determine how much time you can commit and how much responsibility you are willing to take on. Being true to yourself is very important for contributing in a way that you feel good about.
Warm Autumn Salad
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 2 large apples, cubed
- 1/2 a large red onion, sliced into fairly large wedges (depending on your preference)
- 8 to 12 Brussels sprouts, quartered
- 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil, or lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- chopped parsley
- optional: crumbled feta
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and prep veggies. Place in a large mixing bowl and drizzle with oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 45 to 60 minutes, making sure to flip every 15 minutes or so.
Remove from oven and allow to cool 5 minutes before pouring into a serving dish and garnishing with parsley. Add crumbled feta if you choose.