Giving our time and talents to help others can lift us up. We see immediately how our work impacts people. We accompany a visitor to a patient’s room, we help a clinical office run smoothly, we bask in the smiles of the people we help and work with.
While those seem like reason enough to volunteer, there are additional benefits to giving your time. New research sheds new light on the surprising benefits of volunteering. Science is now proving what philosophers and leaders have known for centuries:
“One of the great ironies of life is this: He or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served.” — Gordon Hinckle
Is it time for doctors to prescribe volunteering? The answer might be yes! People who volunteer as little as 100 hours a year are less likely to develop high blood pressure. People who volunteer regularly have healthier hearts, less ongoing pain, and stronger immune systems. They battle addiction better and are less likely to get dementia with age.
Have you ever wanted to add just one more hour to your day? Helping others might just help you do that, according to Cassie Mogilner, a professor at Wharton, who found that those who volunteer their time feel like they have more of it.
Says Cassie, “People who give time feel more capable, confident, and useful. They feel they’ve accomplished something and, therefore, that they can accomplish more in the future. And this self-efficacy makes them feel that time is more expansive.”
Every volunteer opportunity gives you the chance to expand your skill set. Help make patients and their families feel comfortable. Answer phones, perform clerical tasks and support medical center staff in a clinical office. Answer visitors’ questions at the information desk. No matter how you choose to get involved, if you ever wanted to help your community and see the impact of your efforts, we have a place for you.
If you’re a student or adult in the workforce, looking to advance in your current job or find a new one, this study by The Corporation for National and Community Service shows how giving your time and talent can help you meet your goal. The skills and knowledge you acquire as a volunteer strengthen your resume and make you more attractive to potential employers, no matter your field. Volunteering is also an easy, natural way to broaden your network.
We value our volunteers and we love to show it. Our volunteers receive these special perks at the medical center: