Main content

If you’ve ever wanted to make a difference in your community, change up your routine, or explore a new career path, volunteering is an excellent way to do all three. Lending a hand to nonprofit organizations doesn’t just benefit them; volunteering benefits those who donate their time, too. Here are just a few of the perks you’ll enjoy when you volunteer on a regular or one-time basis.

What Are the Benefits of Volunteering?

Mental Health Benefits

Volunteering offers a number of mental health benefits:

  • Meaning, purpose, and control. Both in good times and in troubled ones, volunteering empowers people to tackle problems in their lives and in the world. It can also simply help you explore a new interest or feel more connected to your community in general.
  • Positive feelings and outlook. Doing good causes your body to release dopamine, a feel-good hormone. This promotes better moods and an improved perspective on your life. Donating your time can even help to combat anxiety and depression.

Physical Health Benefits

All volunteer roles can offer surprising physical health benefits:

  • Reduced stress. Even if you don’t break a sweat in your duties, the stress-lowering effects of doing good can improve your sleep quality, weight maintenance, digestion, and immune system function. It can also reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, hypertension, and Type 2 diabetes.
  • Improved physique. If you choose a role that is even somewhat physically demanding, your body will thank you. Getting moving can help you lose fat, gain lean muscle, build strength and endurance, boost your cardiovascular health, and even improve your balance and reflexes.

Social and Professional Benefits

Volunteering also comes with the potential for making worthwhile connections:

  • New people. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, spark interesting conversations, learn how to work with different personality types, and even make new friends. It’s a great way to mix up your socializing patterns and get out of “ruts” in life.
  • Expanded professional network. If you approach your volunteering roles with the same dedication you might for professional ones, you’ll quickly impress your volunteer coordinator and other organization staff. This is ideal in general, and the connections and references they can provide may open career doors for you as well.
  • Marketable skills. Even if you’re not volunteering to get ahead in your career (which shouldn’t be your primary motivation anyway), you’re likely to develop skills that can make your résumé shine. This might include in-demand field knowledge, technical abilities, or “soft skills,” like good teamwork and communication habits.

Volunteer With Spectrum Community Services

Spectrum Community Services is committed to improving the quality of life for low-income families, seniors, and individuals in Alameda County. Through financial assistance and other services, our goal is to support community members in building healthy, safe, and independent lives. Contact us to learn more about our services, or consider making a donation to support our work.

We are always looking for new volunteers to join the Spectrum team! Check out our volunteer openings. We can't wait to work with you!