April is National Volunteer Month and we’re pretty excited about it! Not only is this the perfect time for us to recognize and say ‘Thank You’ to our current volunteers (more on that later!), but it is also a time to highlight the benefits of volunteering, and showcase all of the different ways that prospective volunteers can make an impact.
According to the Corporation for National and Community Services (CNCS), volunteering is also good for your health:
Benefit Your Health
Over the past two decades we have also seen a growing body of research that indicates volunteering provides individual health benefits in addition to social ones. This research, which is presented by CNCS in a report titled “The Health Benefits of Volunteering: A Review of Recent Research,” has established a strong relationship between volunteering and health: those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer.
Comparisons of the health benefits of volunteering for different age groups have also shown that older volunteers are the most likely to receive greater benefits from volunteering, whether because they are more likely to face higher incidence of illness or because volunteering provides them with physical and social activity and a sense of purpose at a time when their social roles are changing.
Some of these findings also indicate that volunteers who devote a “considerable” amount of time to volunteer activities (about 100 hours per year) are most likely to exhibit positive health outcomes. (https://www.nationalservice.gov)
One of the most common questions we get asked but those who have become recently familiar with Walk With Sally is, “how can I help?”. There are SO many ways you can help us to grow the program and reach even more families – many of which require little to no long term commitment, while leaving you with that warm fuzzy feeling. One of these just might be perfect for you and your lifestyle. If any of these volunteer opportunities resonates with you, please don’t hesitate to email us!
Are you, or someone you know, in college and looking for internship hours? We are always open to inviting interns for a behind the scenes look at what it takes to run a nonprofit like Walk With Sally. We ask that interns are available to help out 2-3 days per week in office. You will gain an all access pass to our programs, special events and development teams. From helping to coordinate huge events like White Light White Night, to understanding the process of new mentor training, there is always something new and exciting going on!
Have some extra time on your hands and want to help out while the kids are in school? We can always use a few volunteers who are able to dedicate some time each week to helping out in the Walk With Sally office. Depending on the needs for each week, you could help coordinate a match, or gather auction items for our upcoming mixer. We’re willing to work with your schedule!
Day-of Event Volunteers
Not sure about the long-term commitment? Whether it’s your work schedule, or the kid’s social activities, if you’re not able to join a committee full time, you may be the perfect “Day-of Event Volunteer”! When you volunteer your time for an event, you are dedicating just a few hours of your day to help execute one of our fundraising events or even tag along on a Friendship Activity to ensure that everything goes off without a hitch. Bonus: you get to enjoy yourself and take in the fun while you’re at it!
Inspired to help spread the word about Walk With Sally? We are looking for volunteers who are willing to take our Welcome Session format and speak to organizations, groups and businesses throughout Southern California. This is the easiest way to volunteer your time while making a positive impact on the life of a child. Stepping up as a champion for the Walk With Sally mentorship program helps us to spread the word, and ultimately reach even more families who may be in need of assistance. You can be an ambassador by committing to simple acts like recruiting new mentors and fellow volunteers, or sharing events and updates throughout you social network.