How Helping your Local Charities Can Benefit Them and You

Sonja Tutty

Involvement in local charities has shown to be more transparent than global organisation and gives the volunteer a long list of benefits.

Volunteer work has shown to not only benefit those in need, but has improved the well-being of those who help.

Vice Journalist, Kaleigh Rogers said, “If anything, I thought volunteering might make me more stressed, adding an extra obligation to my plate and eating up my down time.

“When I finish a volunteering session, my muscles are more relaxed, as is my breathing. My mind is also not whirring with worry the way it usually does, and I feel energized to take on the rest of the day.”

A survey for Community Service Volunteers (CSV) found that 48 per cent of those who volunteered with them for more than two years said it made them feel less depressed.

It went on to say that out of 600 volunteers, 63 per cent of 24 to 34-year-olds said volunteering reduced stress levels.

Rodlescia Sneed, a doctoral candidate in social and health psychology at Carnegie Mellon University said, “Many people find volunteer work to be helpful with respect to stress reduction, and we know that stress is very strongly linked to health outcomes,” she says.

In a Carnegie Mellon study they also found that 200 hours of volunteer work a year correlates to lower blood pressure, and said people become more active when they begin volunteer work.

Sneed added that tutoring and reading helps stimulate the brain and can improve memory and thinking skills.

Beyond mental and physical benefits, local volunteer work has proved to be more transparent in regards to their work and funding.

When getting involved in local charities, you can walk into their buildings and see the literal work they do and similarly can see the impact of their work first-hand.

However, with global charities, it can be difficult seeing how your contributions makes a difference and it can often be difficult to even get involved.

Alongside this, when donating to local charities you are reassured that the bulk of the money is going towards the running of the charities and towards those in need. Whereas global charities have a larger risk of paying that money towards the high salaries of some CEO’s.

The most impactful way to help a local charity is to simply volunteer. Most local charities are very dependent on donations and on people willing to help out without being paid.

As well as helping those in need in your area, whether in an animal shelter or homeless, you also develop new relationships, communication skills and learn to work in a team. Many employers seek out people who have taken part in volunteer work because these skills are desirable.

The Balance Careers, an online resume and business site said, “Not only is volunteering good for your community, but it also has the potential to benefit your career. A volunteer position can be a networking opportunity, help you sharpen your skills, and serve as a low-risk way to explore a new industry.”

 

Sonja Tutty

Image Credits: Piqsels