It’s natural to first think of the benefits to others when considering volunteering for an organization. The benefits of volunteering for those receiving help are clear and abundant — whether it’s reading to seniors at a nursing home, volunteering at your local animal shelter or organizing food drives, the benefits to the receiver and the community at large are typically a large part of the reason why many decide to volunteer in the first place. Your time and unique talents can truly make an impact on the world around you. Finding your passion and following that vision will help you take purposeful steps to help others. And giving back to worthwhile causes, people in need and the community — without financial reward — is extremely important, as it offers essential help to move organizations forward in their missions. Many organizations would not exist if not for their volunteers. But have you ever thought about the impact volunteerism has on the individual doing the volunteering? Volunteerism has been proven to positively impact the volunteer in a number of ways, including: – Reduced stress: Having a cause to focus on can help counteract the effects of stress, depression and anxiety. The social aspect of volunteerism can help you feel connected and concentrate on the task at hand, rather than outside stressors. – Boost in confidence: Volunteering provides a unique opportunity to develop confidence and self-esteem, since your role as a volunteer can give you a sense of pride and identity. You can also gain new skills and see yourself in a new light. – Sense of purpose: Dedicating your time to an organization can give you a new sense of direction and a boost of energy, knowing that your contribution is necessary and valuable. – Increased happiness: Research shows that “feel good” hormones and brain activity spike when volunteering. It’s impossible to NOT make an impact when volunteering — and that knowledge leads to happiness, as most humans naturally enjoy serving others. There are a number of websites that are geared toward helping people “match” with organizations with volunteer opportunities available. Check out to get started on your volunteer journey.