COLONIE– Right now, one of the biggest social problems we face is a lack of connection. The pandemic left most older adults feeling isolated and looking for engaging ways to reconnect with others, and provide a sense of purpose. It’s hard to feel depressed, lonely, or in a bad mood when you’re helping someone in need. Feeling better about oneself leads to having a more positive outlook on life. If the focus is on serving others, feelings of isolation and anxiety take a necessary back seat. Making a difference in someone’s life can put a smile on your face!
Volunteering in your community, can establish immediate and rewarding connections. Everyone has some sort of skill that can be shared for the benefit of others. Some of us are good at administrative tasks, talent for working outdoors or doing physical labor. Others have experience with animals, children, or at working with the elderly. Putting these skills into action helps to provide vital support to community-based organizations. The value of relationships is learned thru giving back and the importance of individuals being a part of something greater than themselves.
Aristotle, the famous philosopher said, “the essence of life is to serve others and do good.” What better description of volunteering? Time is a valuable gift to give, and now more than ever, the need for volunteers is growing. Contributions through volunteerism go a long way to making our communities better places to live for all. Whether you volunteer for a cause you believe in, participate in something you enjoy, or simply want to have a more regular schedule, volunteering can provide opportunities to make new friends, expand social skills or try something new. Thus, volunteers also benefit themselves in many important and surprising ways.
We all desire to be wanted and needed by others. Living a life with purpose is key to happiness, and volunteering can be a component in creating a more meaningful and satisfying life for both you and the people you help along the way.
Kristin Vivian is Director of Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) through Colonie Senior Service Centers Inc., the grantee of AmeriCorps Seniors.