The holidays are upon us! Celebrations, spending time with family and friends, and closely followed traditions are faithfully upheld. It is a season of joy for many. For others, this time of year is a shrewd reminder of how thrashing life can be. Whatever the holiday season means to you, it is normally a period of heightened sentiments. Whether you are looking to share or receive the holiday spirit, volunteering is an excellent way to utilize these feelings and make a difference in the lives of others. Here are 3 reasons why you should give back this holiday season.
Reduce Stress. Besides the apparent assistance to others that accompanies volunteering, it can also help reduce stress. The holiday season can be one of the most stressful times of the year. With shopping to do, meals to cook, houses to decorate, and family to visit, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. But there is good news! A study conducted at Carnegie Mellon University has found that volunteering can help in reducing levels of stress and can improve your physical and mental health.
Live Happier. If you struggle to find meaning in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, volunteering can give you a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Those who volunteer regularly experience greater life satisfaction, as revealed in a report by the Corporation for National and Community Service. Additionally, research by the University of Exeter also shows that those who volunteer are better able to live longer, happier lives.
Enrich Your Community. The most important reason to give back this holiday season is the impact it has on those in your community. Non-profit organizations and other institutions that serve the community rely on volunteers to help shape the community into one that is vibrant, healthy, and safe. There’s nothing more rewarding than knowing you have made a positive difference in enriching your community through volunteering.
There are plentiful opportunities to volunteer during the holidays. Below are several organizations in the Kansas City metro where you can get involved and give back this holiday season.
Johnson County Christmas Bureau
A grassroots volunteer-driven charity hosts a Holiday Shop program to provide warmth and support to low-income neighbors during the holiday season. Visit their website for details on how to volunteer.
Serve homeless individuals this holiday season by providing warm meals to those in need. For information on how to get involved click here.
Give food and hope for the holidays to those in need. Find out how you can help by visiting the Harvesters website.
The KC WildLands Cedar Tree Event is a wonderful opportunity for you to enjoy the outdoors and help in prairie restoration by selecting a native eastern red cedar to take home for your holiday joy! Volunteers are needed to help cut, carry and tie down trees on December 7th from 10am-3pm. Further details are found here.
Written by Ethan Bilyeu, Community-Based Learning student employee.