According to USA.gov one of the most prevalent New Year’s resolutions is to volunteer to help others. Why do people feel drawn to help others? What are the benefits?

Volunteering gives you the opportunity to connect with others, is good for your mind and soul, can further your career and elicits joy and feelings of accomplishment. According to helpguide.org volunteering increases self-confidence, combats depression and helps you stay physically healthy.

In our careers here at The Kensington we have the opportunity to help others each and every day. There is nothing more satisfying than bringing a smile to the face of a person who is not well, making a senior laugh, or seeing a person’s eyes light up when you greet them. It is inspiring to learn lessons and get advice from our residents.

I have always been a volunteer enthusiast. In my career and personal life I have met people that long for more meaning in their lives. I encourage them to give their time to an organization. I have heard all the excuses, “I’m not a people person. I’m too shy. I wouldn’t know what to do. I wouldn’t know how to relate.” Here’s the great thing about volunteering – There are so many opportunities out there. You could file or set up computer programs for a company, work with animals, participate in a task oriented project that prefers less socialization, pick a group that you feel comfortable with. Perhaps you have always wanted to learn a skill…why not work as a volunteer to learn a trade.

Life can get mundane! Personal relationships take work at times. There is something rejuvenating about giving “just because”. Even if your job is in the helping industry as mine is it is beneficial to volunteer. I have served the homeless, victims of violence, elderly, children, undernourished, and other groups.

Recently I accepted a request to format a senior visitation list for my church. Since I schedule 1600 hours of staffing per week I was not looking forward to doing this, but to my surprise I enjoyed the task because it was a skill that I have that I could offer to someone that desperately needed my help.

The recipients of your volunteer efforts are usually incredibly grateful. The benefit is that what you provide for them you receive in return. The other benefit is that people around you are usually inspired to volunteer as well and your life will be better when you and those around you are experiencing the meaningful benefits of volunteering.

At The Kensington we welcome volunteers. We have many family members that enjoy volunteering here. It gives them the opportunity to do something special with their loved one and relationships grow..not only between the resident and their family but also between the team members and family members. It’s a win-win. So what are you waiting for? Volunteer in 2015!

Read about our Volunteer Celebration!

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