Volunteer to Beat the Winter Blahs

Volunteer, Jackie, helps vulnerable people get through the week
by Linda Leigh
Categories: Articles, Feature, Mobile, Newswire
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Good intentions come with the New Year. Many of us want to make a difference in 2015, but sometimes it’s hard to get started. In the midst of winter, the cold weather and lack of sunlight can often cause our moods and energy to plummet.

Experts recommend activities such as volunteering as a way to avoid those winter blahs—to stay active and avoid long periods of being indoors. In addition, a study in the Journal of Health and Social Behaviour found volunteering boosts six aspects of personal well-being: happiness, life satisfaction, self-esteem, sense of control over life, physical health and depression.

Volunteers Speak

“Volunteering at The Salvation Army’s food bank gives me a reason to get up in the morning,” says Sue. “When it comes to volunteering, I say, ‘Just do it.’ You’ll feel good about yourself when you make someone else happy.”

“There is a lot of satisfaction that comes with helping vulnerable people get through the week,” says Jackie, who sorts and organizes clothes at her local Salvation Army thrift store.  “No matter what your place in life is, you can make a difference. And that feels good. ”

Volunteer Opportunities You Many Not Know About

Last year, more than 165,000 people volunteered their time, talents and resources to assist the work of The Salvation Army. Volunteers are a critical part of The Salvation Army fulfilling its promise of “Giving Hope Today.”

The following are some of the many volunteer opportunities available, which may vary from location to location:

  1. Pick up food items from local grocery stores to help stock food-bank shelves.
  2. Sandwich makers for school feeding programs.
  3. Special event assistants.
  4. Income-tax preparation for low-income people.
  5. Help at after-school programs.
  6. Teach a life-skills class. (i.e. budgeting)
  7. Play board games at a seniors’ residence.

Volunteering is not only a way to lift your spirits, it’s a great opportunity to help people, build your skills, and meet other people who care. But, if you are not able to volunteer, consider collecting items to donate to one of our food banks or thrift stores. Even a little help makes a big difference.

To learn more about our volunteering with The Salvation Army, click here.