Volunteering Can Lead to Improved Health

May 8th, 2017

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People who volunteer can have a wide range of reasons for getting involved. Some want to help those less fortunate, others may want to give back to the community, while some may see it as a way to make new friends or fill their retirement days with something other than bad golf. However, research shows that an even bigger benefit awaits those who volunteer: better health! This sounds like the ultimate win-win, doesn’t it?

The positive effects of volunteer work on health are many and varied. Simply by taking the step to volunteer, you engage yourself both physically and mentally. In filling a volunteer role, you may improve your self-confidence, reduce your stress level, and even help counteract depression. In fact, helping others often leads to that “feel-good” feeling similar to what a good workout provides. And the older you are, the more pronounced the effects can be.

Folks don’t typically volunteer simply to improve their own health profiles. As a by-product, though, it’s a good one. For example, helping out at Food Connection because you’re concerned about food insecurity in the community is a laudable reason for volunteering. You may help unload and sort donations, organize products on the shelves, pack boxes for customers, and engage clients and fellow volunteers as they move through the process. The clients receive much needed sustenance, which may be the reason you volunteered in the first place, while the physical activity, interactions with clientele, camaraderie with fellow volunteers, and the “high” you’ll get as you witness the effects of your work make your efforts even more worthwhile.

So, thinking of others and volunteering your time and talents to help is wonderful, and doing so while also improving your own well-being can make it even better. Why not take the first step and contact +1 847 392 2344 or givingback@NorthwestCompass.org. Please visit our Get Involved page to learn more about available opportunities.


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About the Author
Michael Martz
Michael Martz retired in 2011 from his position as Director, eBusiness Operations at Grainger, a $10B industrial distributor based in Lake Forest, Illinois. He is a graduate of Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville with a degree in Psychology and attended graduate school at SIU-E, Texas Tech University, University of Memphis, and NIU.

Since retiring, Mike has focused on enjoying his wife’s company, traveling, improving his golf game, hanging out with his three grandsons, volunteering, and writing for a supply chain website. He looks forward to helping Northwest Compass with their social media efforts.


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The Summer solstice—the first day of Summer and longest day of the year—was a clear, crisp day in Mount Prospect. Many organizations serving the homeless have selected the Summer solstice to commemorate those who have overcome homelessness, and this seemed a fitting day to commemorate the Grand Opening of Northwest Compass's Coordinated Entry Walk-in Center. NWC was joined by Mount Prospect mayor, Arlene Juracek, District Director for Illinois' 56th District Mussman, Christi Wessel and representatives from Mount Prospect, Des Plaines, Journeys, Elk Grove Village Township, St. Mary's Services, Center of Concern and Harper College to mark the occasion. As a lead agency in the North for Coordinated Entry, NWC looks forward to working closely with agency partners to help end homelessness in our community. Learn more about Coordinated Entry northwestcompass.org/how-we-help/coordinated-entry/ ... See MoreSee Less

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    Many organizations serving the homeless have selected the Summer solstice to commemorate those who have overcome homelessness, and this seemed a fitting day to commemorate the Grand Opening of Northwest Compass's Coordinated Entry Walk-in Center. NWC was joined by Mount Prospect mayor, Arlene Juracek, District Director for Illinois' 56th District Mussman, Christi Wessel and representatives from Mount Prospect, Des Plaines, Journeys, Elk Grove Village Township, St. Mary's Services, Center of Concern and Harper College to mark the occasion. As a lead agency in the North for Coordinated Entry, NWC looks forward to working closely with agency partners to help end homelessness in our community.

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