Help Yourselves Through Community Involvement
By Charles Hopkins
Published 09/20/2007 | Self Improvement
Despite the bad news that hits the daily papers, human beings are
naturally charitable and voluntarily get involved in community
activities. People willingly go out of their way to help others and, in
doing so, help themselves in many different ways.
Studies have shown that people who volunteer their time and
services to people who need help, enjoy better health and live longer
than those who do not. When people help others, it improves their mood
leading to reduced stress effects and a boost to the immune system.
Does writing a check for a worthy cause have the same impact? Not
to the extent as when you get out there where the action is and get
involved. However, it is still an action in the right direction.
People are now increasingly becoming aware of the satisfaction
achieved by helping others. In fact, a lot of retirees are putting
their time to good use by doing exactly this. Instead of just sitting
at home and watching television or reading the papers, they are getting
out there working at churches, hospitals, schools, libraries and
charitable organizations. After working for years, they are now finding
different and fulfilling purposes to achieve.
This, however, applies to old and young. There is a great feeling
of goodness when people perform charity and volunteer work. What you do
and for whom you do is a personal decision, but it should be something
that is close to your heart. If you feel forced into it, then you might
as well not do it at all. However, there are some people who find
themselves forced into some organization and find a new purpose in
So, what can you get involved in? Do you enjoy working with older
people? You can visit lonely residents in nursing homes. These people
will be so happy to have someone to provide company.
Or do you feel compassion for the sick? Then, if you visit the
hospitals, you will find some patients who have no one visiting them.
Not only will you able to break their loneliness, but also some of them
will be so worried about the reasons why they are in hospital. Just
having someone to talk with can help them better handle their fears and
If you like children, visit the children in the hospital. Or it
could be an orphanage. Read them stories, play a game or go there as a
clown. It gives such a good feeling when you can bring happiness and
fun to children. If you have children, nephews or nieces, take them
along. Everyone not only can help to bring happiness but also come away
appreciating some of the things in life that are taken for granted.
There are also people who teach skills like making handicrafts,
sewing, woodworking and others to the less fortunate. Many people are
able to derive an income by selling the items that they make.
For the environment conscious, there are projects like plant-a-tree, recycling and many other possibilities.
What has been described are just a few possibilities. Once you
think of community involvement and how being involved helps you as well
as others, you will become aware of many of them. Select one that you
like. Get a friend along if possible. It may be just a small step for
you but all the small steps of many people put together will make the
world a better place. And you would have been one of those that made it