Interested in Volunteering? Providence Provides Multiple Opportunities

If you want to contribute to the betterment of your neighborhood and the greater community, volunteering provides the path. Through volunteerism, you can truly have an impact on improving the lives of those around you. And in the process, you may benefit as well.

You’ll find multiple volunteer opportunities around the Providence area. What are some of the best ways to get involved, and what are some of the benefits?

Volunteering Around Providence

You’ll find a range of compelling volunteer opportunities in the Providence area. Among the local organizations accepting new volunteers is Make A Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

The Overlook also offers a variety of opportunities for giving back to the community through volunteerism. Residents at The Overlook are involved every day with projects like the Angel Fund, Silver Knitters, Project Linus and CHIP-IN Food Pantry.

For the CHIP-IN Food Pantry, staff members and residents of The Overlook participate in food drives, and they conduct fundraising efforts as well. In 2014 alone, independent living residents at The Overlook raised $2,200 for the benefit of CHIP-IN.

Residents play a significant role in supporting the Angel Fund, which assists needy schoolchildren, through fundraising and collections of goods.

In addition, residents have created more than 4,600 quilts to donate to Project Linus, a charity providing quilts to children in the hospital.

The Silver Knitters at The Overlook have been recognized by the Harrington Health Care System for donating 35,000 volunteer hours in creating newborn sets and lap robes for the Cancer Center.

At The Overlook, residents and staff place a strong emphasis on the necessity of volunteering to give back to the community, but the volunteers see a benefit for their efforts.

Connecting to Others

Of the many benefits that volunteering bestows on those who give of their time and talents, perhaps the most rewarding is the opportunity to connect to others.

Volunteers can take pride in the fact that they make a real impact on their local communities. The experience also gives those who volunteer a chance to meet new people, make new friends and greatly expand their social networks.

When you decide to become a volunteer, you develop closer ties to your community, but you also have an opportunity to develop friendships with those who share similar interests to yours, and you expand the number of people who are available to support you when you need it.

Another benefit of volunteering is the chance to serve as a mentor to younger generations. You’ve developed a lifetime of experience and wisdom, and that can benefit young people by sharing what you’ve learned. Also, learning something from younger individuals, and their excitement and enthusiasm can be infectious.

Many people enjoy the chance to learn a new skill or take on a new role in volunteering that differs from their work focus during their formal careers. You may find that skills you’ve long mastered — whether fishing, sewing or woodworking — suddenly may be in demand in your role as a volunteer.

For those with a religious or spiritual bent, volunteering provides the opportunity to strengthen their faith and minister to others.

Mental and Physical Benefits of Volunteering

Volunteers have always known that they received real, physical benefits for their efforts, and now research has begun to confirm it. In one study, AARP volunteers who provide tutoring to grade-school children reported improvements in both their physical and mental function. The study also found that onset of health problems among volunteers appeared to be delayed.

Specifically, the study found several promising health markers associated with volunteering, including a reduced risk of depression, a lower rate of health decline attributable to aging, and greater participation in physical activity.

Other research has confirmed that volunteering seems to confer physical benefits; in 2014, a study found that productive activities including caregiving and employment, volunteering had the strongest correlation with reduced inflammation levels, especially among people over the age of 70.

Research has uncovered significant benefits to mental health for volunteers, including more social activity along with feelings of life betterment and greater productivity. Volunteers were most likely to experience these benefits when they received adequate training and support from their sponsoring organizations.

Through volunteering, research has found, individuals can find satisfaction, purpose, and improved mental and physical health as they give back to society.

Staying Independent Through Volunteering

One of the most appealing benefits of volunteering is the contribution it makes to continued independence. By participating in volunteer activities, individuals find purpose in life and control of their own destinies.

The Overlook offers a variety of activities — including multiple volunteer opportunities — to support ongoing independence and enjoyment of life. To learn more about gracious, supportive living on 450 scenic acres in Worcester County, please contact us today.