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 life.

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 concerns.

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 happen.