Three Health Benefits Of Volunteering

Find out how volunteer work boosts your physical and mental health - and helps women at NYWC in Toronto.

You may know that volunteer work is gratifying and good for the soul, but were you aware that volunteering has health benefits, too? Research shows that when you regularly do volunteer work to help others and your community, it can actually boost your physical and mental health. Plus, it just feels good.

As one North York Women’s Centre volunteer recently said, “What excites me most about volunteering with NYWC is knowing that I am making a difference.”

NYWC’s Manager of Volunteer Resources, Madeline Lemire, is grateful for the people who donate their time and expertise to help women at NYWC’s Toronto office and via online programs. As she says, “NYWC volunteers help empower women, and they often feel empowered themselves as a result.”

1. Reducing Stress

The Mayo Clinic reports that volunteering helps lower stress and anxiety because it releases dopamine, a feel-good hormone. It can also combat isolation, which has many negative health impacts.

As one NYWC volunteer told us, “I am a new immigrant and have been feeling extremely isolated since I don’t know many people in the city. I am excited to meet and network with other women and contribute towards my community!”

2. Boosting Cardiovascular Health

A Carnegie Mellon University study of adults over fifty concluded that those who did volunteer work regularly were less likely to develop high blood pressure than non-volunteers. This is meaningful because high blood pressure can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and other health impacts.

3. Lengthening Life Span

Another study of nearly 13,000 participants conducted by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health determined that older adults who volunteered for two hours a week or more enjoyed improved well-being, more physical activity and a lower risk of early death.

Volunteers can boost the well-being of others in turn. At NYWC, for instance, volunteers support women at our 116 Industry Street location, answer calls to our 1:1 support line and contribute their talents to motivating online and in-person events and group programs, such as the Women’s Empowerment Series. (Read what program recipients have to say about their appreciation, too.)

Eager to experience the benefits of volunteering yourself? Learn more about NYWC volunteer opportunities and then sign up on our volunteering page. No doubt you’ll find the experience as rewarding as this NYWC volunteer, who says, “I believe women should support other women and I’m excited to be involved.”

Curious about NYWC? Read about our organization, guiding principles and team members, bookmark our volunteering page and connect with us!

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