As we approach the holiday season, it's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of shopping and gift-giving. However, this year, consider giving a different kind of gift - the gift of time. By volunteering, you can make a positive impact on someone's life and give back to your community.
The wonderful thing about volunteering is that everyone has something to offer. Whether you have a few hours or a few days to spare, your generosity can make a big impact. After all, the true spirit of the holiday season lies in giving back and helping those in need. So why not make a personal commitment to volunteer this Giving Season and spread a little joy and kindness?
Build Bridges: Connect with Your Community this Giving Season and Beyond
Over the past three decades, we've seen how service can transform communities and lives. From helping young people find their passions and build meaningful careers, to providing older folks with a sense of purpose and fulfillment, service has the power to change lives. As AmeriCorps celebrates its 30th anniversary, we look to the future with excitement and hope, knowing that national service and volunteering will continue to evolve and meet the changing needs of our country.
Volunteering is about more than just doing good deeds. It's also a powerful way to connect with others and bridge divides. By working together to address shared challenges and needs, we can help build stronger, more united communities. Whether it's two hours volunteering at a food bank or 20 hours organizing a park clean-up, giving time is an endless gift.
Foster Grandparent Eliza Eules, who serves with AmeriCorps Seniors at Eighteenth Avenue Family Enrichment Center, was honored this year for dedicating more than 23,000 hours over 26 years to service. In the classroom, she mentors children as young as two years old and as old as the third grade. Eliza has taught many children to read, and according to the teacher she assisted, she is why they can transition to the next class.
Like Grandma Eliza, volunteers can do more than make a positive impact on others. Volunteering time is a proven mood booster, skill builder, and people connector that is good for your health. Research shows that volunteers are less likely to develop high blood pressure and more likely to live longer compared to non-volunteers. Volunteering is also good for your mental wellness and happiness. It promotes human connection, a greater sense of purpose, and more happiness over time, according to a growing body of research. Volunteering is also good for your future. It provides opportunities to develop new skills, make professional connections, stand out in the job market, and increase employment opportunities.
It Starts with You: Help Create the Beloved Community on MLK Day
Don’t know where to start? Think about donating your time on the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service and engage with your community while honoring the legacy of Dr. King. Whether you plan on cleaning up a public space, mentoring a young person, or assisting those who are food insecure or unhoused, what you do makes a world of difference.
Last January, members of Habitat for Humanity, Greensboro joined forces with volunteers to revamp the city for MLK Day. More than 300 volunteers served on construction projects, like repainting and building fences, and cleanups to help beautify the community.
No matter how you decide to serve during MLK Day weekend, you'll make a positive difference in your community. Use the AmeriCorps Volunteer Search, powered by VolunteerMatch, to find an opportunity near you.
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As we enter the giving season, remember that the gift of our time is just as valuable, if not more so, than any material gift we could give. Consider volunteering your time to make a positive impact in your community. Just like Eliza and others, you might find that the greatest gift you receive is the one you give.