Volunteering does more than give back to your community—it also makes you feel good. Here are five ideas for volunteering together as a family
You may have heard of the runner’s high—that burst of energy followed by calm that comes from physical exertion. Volunteers have actually reported the same euphoria from helping others. Allan Luks, long-time executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City, coined the term “helper’s high” after surveying 3,300 volunteers and finding that many reported feeling exhilarated when they helped out.
Subjects of his study reported that this high lasted several weeks and returned when people reflected on what it felt like to help others. Ninety percent of those surveyed reported that volunteering lessened stress, chronic pain and insomnia. The theory: helpers replaced stressful thoughts—perhaps about work or relationships—with self-enhancing good feelings drawn from personal contact with those they help regularly.
Volunteering is the most meaningful way to connect as a family. What better way to bond than by working together to make a difference in the community? Find opportunities in your community here.
Start a change jar to support important issues or better yet, download these WE Create Change resources and be a part of a national coin drive that contributes to supporting sustainable community projects around the world.
Be the change together
Take family challenges like a TV Turn-Off Week, Buy Nothing Week or Once-a-Week Meat-Free Meals. Share the experience and talk about ways to succeed together.
Mentor a team or lead a Scout or Girl Guide group in which your child is involved—share time and experiences, and get to know another side of your child’s social life.
Do a good deed
With your child, help elderly neighbors with house or yard work. Make sure to reflect together how you feel at the end of the task. More than likely, you will all be inspired.