Why should we participate in community service? Our community is what makes us who we are. Community is the town that you live in, the businesses that make it thrive, and the people that bring it to life. The real question is this: why wouldn’t you want to help your community be the best possible? Besides the ability to help your town and its people thrive, volunteering your time offers many personal benefits as well.

It Connects You to Others

When you volunteer for community service, you’re going to come across and interact with others in your community who are doing the same thing you are. In fact, volunteering is one of the best ways to make new friends and strengthen your relationship with others. This is especially helpful if you’re new to an area—it’ll build your social network with others and introduce you to new people seamlessly. 

Participating in community service will also help build your social skills. While some people are naturally outgoing and extroverted, introverted people will be given the opportunity to develop building relationships and being social with others since you’ll be meeting regularly. 

It’s Good For Your Mind and Body

Volunteering is also beneficial for your physical and mental health. While helping your community, you can boost your self-confidence, self-esteem, and overall life satisfaction thanks to your accomplishments. It can also instill a sense of pride and identity in you, giving you a positive outlook on your personal future. Volunteering can also fight back against depression. A key risk factor for depression is social isolation, which isn’t as likely to happen when you’re in regular contact with your fellow volunteers. It can create a support system to help you through the hard times, and working with pets and other animals has been shown to significantly improve mood while reducing stress and anxiety.

Volunteering has been proven to be physically beneficial as well, especially in older adults. Studies show that those who volunteer generally have a lower mortality rate than those who don’t, even after taking health variables into account. It also laxes the symptoms of chronic pain and heart disease. 

Even if you have limited mobility, there are still volunteer opportunities you can take advantage of. Contact different organizations to see if home-based volunteer opportunities are available to take advantage of. Home-based or otherwise, you’ll still have the social benefits that come with helping your community available to you if you work with the right organization.