Volunteering: Good for You and Your Community

Volunteering: Good for You and Your CommunityVo l u n t e e r i n g your time and talent can be an extremely rewarding experience, on many levels. Many people achieve great satisfaction by offering their services to make a difference in the life of an individual or a community.

Around the country, more than 64 million people participated in volunteer activities in 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, representing about 27 percent of the population.

Perhaps what the other three quarters of the population do not know is that volunteering is down right good for your health.

A study by the Corporation of National and Community Service found volunteers had lower mortality rates, reported lower rates of depression (if over the age of 65), and enjoyed greater senses of self-worth and trust. Additional volunteer benefits:

• Meeting new people

• Making a difference in someone’s life

• Making important networking contacts

• Gaining work experience

There are numerous volunteer opportunities available in the Miami-Dade community. The key to finding the perfect fit is to start with a few questions:

• Do you prefer to work alone or as part of a team?

• How much time are you willing to commit?

• What skills can you bring a volunteer job?

• What causes are important to you?

Once you know the type of volunteer project you’d like to pursue, you can check out sites like <VolunteerMatch.com> to see a list of opportunities. Here in Doral, United HomeCareseeks volunteers to participate in its Volunteer Community Service Program, United Friends for Seniors. The non-profit agency currently serves nearly 5,000 elderly and/or disabled adults across Miami- Dade County

Volunteers make a difference the lives of seniors by visiting those who live alone and by providing friendly companionship and social contact with the community. All it takes is the desire to give an hour and a half of your time each month.

United HomeCare is hosting a Volunteer Open House on Feb. 12, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., at the Caregiver Resource Center, 8400 N.W. 33 St., Suite 400.

Special 90-minute presentations will be conducted at 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., but walkin visits are welcome throughout the day.

For more information, please contact Blanca Ceballos at 305-328-0875 or at bceballos@unitedhomecare.com

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