Volunteer Work Can Open Doors

Doctors and psychotherapists have long observed that those who help others tend to enjoy healthier, happier lives.

Often those who have been helped want to do something in return, preferring a hand up, to a hand out. Feeling needed and appreciated, and maintaining their dignity, is important to good physical and mental health.

Experts believe that those who suffer from “the blues” or those who have experienced a life-altering trauma, such as losing a spouse, often benefit from doing volunteer work as much, or more, as those they serve. When we believe that we’re making a difference here on earth, it gives us a purpose for living and sense of satisfaction, which can lead to a longer, more fulfilled life. Studies show the more consistently we do good for others, the happier we become.

When we give to others it activates the release of dopamine, the ‘Feel Good’ hormone, which triggers what is often referred to by psychologists as a “helper’s high”. MRI studies  found that this euphoria reduced chronic pain for several participants. Dopamine also reduces stress levels which has been shown to decrease depression and anxiety, boosting overall well-being and motivating us to do more kind acts, in order to get that “high”. Research revealed that dopamine also plays important roles in sleep, motor activity, and concentration which is important to learning.

Volunteer work can open doors

Although many business executives didn’t go to a private school or have parents who belonged to the country club they realized the importance of strong social connections to their success.  Volunteering in the community is a way to build a solid social network. The  more vast ones network, the more opportunities one has.

Networking events or business conferences  often turn into social affairs with drive by networking where you are greeted you with a quick, incoherent pitch and slap a business card into your palm (aka ‘Drive by Networking’).

Some enduring relationships have been developed where people volunteer. They are low pressure, informal environments that offer the time necessary to begin the process of sharing professional and personal experiences, exploring interest, discovering values, and establishing common ground. Regardless of whether you meet an entrepreneur who operates a one-person consulting firm or a CEO who runs a multimedia enterprise, engage in meaningful conversation instead of delivering a sales pitch.   Reconnect within 48 hours with an e-mail, which is executable within minutes. Direct contact, via e-mail, enables you to bypass gatekeepers and more important, allows them to process it when they’re most receptive to your message and to response at their convenience.  (Phone calls can prove intrusive when they’re managing an appointment packed schedule.)  Business networks are exchanges.   Develop genuine relationships by taking an interest in others.   The process doesn’t happen with a single conversation and a business card. Without prodding, you should be willing to offer resources or an ear when they’re confronted with challenges. Through time and commitment, you’ll find the most valuable byproduct will be relationships that last a lifetime.  (Earl G. Graves Jr)

Most jobs are never posted to the public. Many companies identify potential job candidates through employee referrals. According to a recent study, referrals are the No. 1 source of new hires. A “social connection” inside a company may be in a position to make a recommendation for a job that is never advertised.

Companies encourage employees’ passion to make a difference in the community. Applicants who are heavily invested in the community bring much more to a company than just their credentials and education.  Aware that volunteer work can provide invaluable skills and knowledge HR Managers often look closely at it on an applicants resume.

Whether on the ascent up the corporate ladder or already sitting at the top, one is always part of a team. Business leaders who volunteer in the community often take notice of “team members” who show leadership potential.

The best way to make a difference in the world is to begin in your own community.


“Wherever a man turns he can find someone who needs him.”  – Albert Schweitzer


In October, millions of volunteers across the nation unite on National Make A Difference Day,  the largest single-day of volunteering in the country. That link will tell about the $10,000 prize you can win for the non-profit you choose.

Looking for some ideas? Here are a few.

You can also Click here so the page will reload, then scroll down toward the bottom to see responses from others.

GOOD LUCK!  (Be sure to read the comments below)

©   Tulsage 2011-20202     Permission is granted to share the above, in part or in  entirety, as long as credit is given to Tulsage.

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11 Responses to Volunteer Work Can Open Doors

  1. P.S. says:

    See what Mike Rowe has about jobs HERE on his facebook page

    Mike Rowe-Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs ..Somebody’s Got to do it What would civilization look like without people who do the dirty jobs? Mike wants to bridge the gap between 600,000 unfilled skilled trades jobs and unemployed Americans through his campaign, Profoundly Disconnected. mikerowWORKS foundation gives scholarships to students in trade schools. He funds it partly by auctioning souvenirs from Dirty Jobs.

    John Ratzenberger (who played Cliff Calvin on Cheers) produced the Travel Channel series “Made in America,” highlighting U.S.-made goods and workers which led the way for a new series of Dirty Jobs(with Mike Rowe) , Deadliest Catch and Ice Road Truckers to celebrate the work ethic that built America.

    Ratzenberger is raising awareness for the trades and skilled workers in the US. He says that today nobody is being taught how to use simple tools, hammers and screwdrivers. “Instead they are going to college to get degrees and can’t get a job, although there are plenty of jobs out there. Manufacturers today say high school kids can’t even read a ruler. We need to teach the skills. How are they going to build airplanes, build homes, or even perform simple household repairs?”

    Passionate about how important it is for America to recognize the need for, and to provide the training to produce skilled laborers, Ratzenberger is in pre-production on a new television series to awaken Americans to the shortage of skilled workers that threatens our country as a whole. Read all: http://ratzenberger.com/meet-john-ratzenberger http://ratzenberger.com/contact

  2. Chris says:

    Wikipedia says regarding the Benefits of volunteering

    Besides the benefits to society, scientific studies have shown that individuals who volunteer enjoy psychological and physical benefits,[13] including increased satisfaction, improved sense of belonging, lower blood pressure, increased protection from Alzheimer’s, and decreased mortality.[14]

    Volunteer work can also be used to leverage valuable experiences where work experience is lacking, or to build on an area of interest and expertise when writing a resume for work or applying to schools. [16] [17]

    Selecting a volunteer position should be handled with careful thought as to your personal interests, areas of community you wish to impact, and to what end. Having clear goals for your time and service will better inform the value of your volunteer efforts as it relates to your personal goals and interests. [18]

    Benefits of volunteer work are enjoyed by the community effected, but also by the volunteers themselves, in knowing that they contributed to the betterment of society in some way. [19]

  3. Danna says:

    Volunteer. Get involved in a cause that means something to you. First, you’re keeping actively busy during an emotional downturn in your life, which is good for the head. Second, you’re improving your job-hunting skills. Volunteering involves marketing, selling, time management, public speaking, fund-raising, creativity and more. Third, depending on the organization and the role you take, volunteering can put you in contact with some of the most important people in your community. They’ll see you do your stuff. Finally, doing something good for others helps shape your attitude and keeps your own situation in perspective. https://www.tulsaworld.com/archive/out-of-work-getting-job-starts-at-daybreak/article_f8f4fe70-b613-5d33-998d-cc8c04c7bf80.html
    HARVEY MACKAY Dec 15, 2002

    Do look at this one: https://wordpress.com/post/tulsage.wordpress.com/6613

  4. Davina says:

    Lending a hand after hours may make your day job more enjoyable. Re searchers from the University of Konstanz in Germany studied more than 100 people who worked 5 days a week and also volunteered for about 7 hours weekly. They learned that work felt less burdensome the day after a volunteer stint–even if the unpaid duties, like fire and rescue work , weren’t very relaxing. The study suggests that if yu really want to shed job stress, vegging out may not be the best way to do it, says lead author Eva J. Mojza, PhD. Challenging extracurricular activities will yank your attention away from the demands of your career and send you back to work with the satisfaction of a job well done. -Reader’s Digest June 2010

    Volunteering two hours a week can boost your well-being and helps combat loneliness, which has been linked to dementia.
    1. A sense of purpose -volunteers wake up with a sense of purpose which is healthy; it’s what keeps us living longer. There’s a lot of loss as you get older, but serving others can be your saving grace. It gets you out of yourself.

    2. Social interaction and friendship A lady whose husband had passed away loves to knit and wanted to teach others. It’s become a wonderful support group as some have also lost their husbands. They talk and bond while they knit. They’ve made 112 blankets in the past year and given them to patients at the cancer clinic in town and to survivors of domestic violence.

    3. If you want to do God’s work, find out where the need is and jump in.

    4. Doing a variety of things keeps your mind sharp and agile, and there’s a wide range of activities available if you’re interested in volunteering. Try something to find out whether it’s a good fit for you. You don’t have to volunteer with a huge organization. How about just calling or visiting someone who can’t get out much?”

    5. When you give of yourself, you will find that you get more than you give. There’s a special sense of fulfillment that comes with using your God-given talents to help someone else.

  5. Alan says:

    “But I had big help, I think, from above to show me the only way to get out of a situation that is painful and horrible is to help others. I started volunteering, and when you do that, you kind of start to feel good about yourself. And the love from those people (you help) comes over to you. It’s just a really win-win situation when you do that, so that would be the lesson I learned was giving to others changes your life and can make it wonderful. It’s not about money. It’s not about possessions. It’s about people and love, and that’s really what it’s all about.” -Karolyn Grimes who played Zuzu in It’s a Wonderful Life.


  6. Alan says:

    All contributions count. So do non-monetary acts of kindness, such as shoveling a neighbor’s walk, bringing a casserole to a grieving person or simply abiding with someone in need through friendship. https://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/askamy/ct-ask-amy-12282018-story.html

    Washington University research shows that people who volunteer to help a neighbor, family member, church or charity are happier than other people. Turns out volunteering results in a “helper’s high,” a combination of a warm feeling, increased energy and a sense of euphoria. According to one survey, 97% of regular volunteers experience this “high”.

    Volunteering produces a ‘helper’s high’, the exhilaration caused by the release of endorphins, the brains own mood-elevating chemicals.

    A ten-year study of 1300 Michigan men found that those who were active in organizations outside the home lived longer healthier lives than those who did not.

  7. Robyn says:

    In a recent survey of over 10,000 people in the UK, two-thirds reported that volunteering helped them feel less isolated. Similarly, a 2018 study of nearly 6,000 people across the US examined widows who, unsurprisingly, felt lonelier than married adults. After starting to volunteer for two or more hours per week, their average level of loneliness subsided to match that of married adults, even after controlling for demographics, baseline health, personality traits, and other social involvement. These benefits may be especially strong the older you are and the more often you volunteer.


  8. Sam says:

    Planning to Live to 100? Volunteer!

    The CDC found states with a high volunteer rate have lower incidences of heart disease.

    In science labs all over the world, researchers are exploring ways to delay the effects of aging and extend our years of healthy life.

    Volunteer. Share your skills and your passion with others. Find a need and devote your time to filling it. It’s the closest thing to a silver bullet we have discovered for personal and societal well-being.

    Most of us who have volunteered know the positive jolt of what’s been called “giver’s high.” But the benefits of contributing your talents to others go way beyond that transitory buzz.

    The obvious payoff is the social good done: A littered block becomes an urban garden, the hungry are fed, or social isolation is eased, among countless other examples.

    Donating one’s time to benefit others has deep individual value as well. A growing body of research tells us that those who volunteer have lower mortality rates and less depression, along with a greater sense of control over one’s life and higher rates of self-esteem and happiness. Using health and volunteering data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one report found that states with a high volunteer rate even have lower incidences of heart disease. Some studies showed that volunteers who devote about 100 hours or more per year to volunteer activities are the most likely to experience health benefits.

    Findings indicate that — in general — the older the volunteer, the greater the personal benefits of volunteering.

    Many of us lose our sense of purpose as we transition out of a career or end our role as caregiver to a spouse or family member. Volunteering can renew that sense of purpose and prevent the social isolation that is a recognized health hazard of our later years.

    Above blips were from https://www.aarp.org/politics-society/advocacy/info-2017/planning-to-live-to-age-100-volunteer-schneidewind.html by Eric J. Schneidewind, AARP President, AARP, May 31, 2017

    Some enter retirement and feel it is the wort time of their life, with no one asking for their opinion anymore or needing their help, leaving them feeling useless, angry and depressed. If we do nothing it will rob us of value and will kill us. We weren’t created to do nothing. We need a reason to get up in the morning and life has to have a continuing purpose to it. Finding community all the rest of your life is important. Opportunities for voluntary service are great for people of all ages. Hospitals, nursing homes, programs for the handicapped, parks and recreation departments reach out for volunteers. The older citizen, possessing the wisdom and patience of age, can help smooth out the wrinkles of community endeavor by committing his or her time and experience in the time-honored American tradition of “volunteerism.” When life gets boring, the bored come to life-voluntarily. -unknown

    Give 5 program in Tulsa does a fantastic job of helping people discover their strengths and how to give the most valuable of those gifts to the community. They want to help retirees find their deepest meaning in life during retirement by helping prospective volunteers realize what a significant impact they can make in our community through their gifts of time. They may find themselves called to work directly with children and other individuals or provide a service like transportation or administrative support. (2021)

  9. Brian says:

    Studies show that having a higher purpose in life significantly reduces the risk of death among older adults and can slow down or prevent cognitive decline.

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