Volunteer Work Benefits

A host of physical and mental benefits accrue from doing volunteer work.

My earliest volunteer job was as a volunteer peer companion to Lila–a woman in her sixties who lived in a residence. We’d stay in the living room listening to Yankees games on the radio. I’d take her to an ice cream shoppe in the summer.

I was 26 when I did this. When I was 31 I volunteered at a thrift shop organizing and selling items for the local Alzheimer’s non-profit.

For 11 years I served on the board of a non-profit that provided advocacy employment and housing for people with mental health conditions.

What’s not to love about doing volunteer work to improve your life and the lives of others?

I say: do volunteer work when you’re able. It makes perfect sense to me to get out of our houses and our heads when we have an emotional challenge.

People who volunteer their time for altruistic reasons live longer too according to a recent study.

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Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She owns a resume writing and career help business. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and a fitness buff.

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