“Giving back” offers many benefits to the community, volunteers and businesses [United Way column] | Together

If you are reading this article, chances are you already know that “giving back” not only offers real benefits to our community, but also to the volunteer. In case you missed it, Stephen Post, author of “Why Good Things Happen to Good People,” says that “when we give of ourselves, especially if we start young, everything from life satisfaction to self-actualization and physical health, is significantly affected Mortality is delayed Depression is reduced Well-being and good fortune are increased A quick internet search will yield numerous studies that prove the value of volunteering .

So who reaps these benefits? According to the latest survey released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 25% of Americans take the time to volunteer, donating an average of 52 hours per year. Generation X (those born between 1965 and 1980) currently leads volunteering among generations. Volunteers also tend to be married, white and female, with higher levels of education. The lowest volunteering rates were observed among 20 to 24 year olds (18.4%).

In the survey, whites reported volunteering at a higher rate (26.4%) than blacks (19.3%), Asians (17.9%) and Hispanics (15.5%) .

Business leaders who want to create or maintain a competitive advantage in today’s tight job market would be well advised to include a volunteer component in their benefits package.

A Deloitte study found that 61% of millennials who rarely or never volunteer always consider a company’s commitment to the community when deciding on a potential job and more than 70% of employees under 35 prefer to work for a company that demonstrates commitment to the community. community.

Volunteering is an easy way to give back, meet new people who are interested in a common cause, build camaraderie and improve teamwork skills. If there is any evidence that acts of kindness release endorphins, reduce our stress levels, raise our overall mood, help engage employees, build trust, and help our community thrive, the only question that remains is to ask is “how can I get involved?” »

Volunteer Opportunities

United Way of Lancaster County regularly highlights opportunities available at nonprofit organizations in the county.

There are 200 different opportunities available now, so whether you’re interested in education, health, the arts, animals, the environment, or something else entirely, there’s probably something for you. Opportunities specifically for youth, teams, and those in need of community service hours are also available.

Current priorities include:

– State Rep. Mike Sturla’s 10th Annual Back to School Giveaway is still looking for people to help fill backpacks the week of August 9 to ensure that all children in the city of Lancaster have the supplies they need to succeed in school.

Volunteers will also be needed on the days of the event (Saturday and Sunday, August 14 and 15) to help set up, distribute and clean up Clipper Magazine Stadium.

– A Day of Healing on Thursday, August 12 will be a beautiful and moving tribute to those we have lost during the COVID-19 pandemic. The event will also honor our healthcare heroes for their sacrifices.

Volunteers are needed to make this event as powerful as possible and transform Long’s Park into a comfortable and welcoming place. Installation begins at 1 p.m. on August 12. The event starts at 6 p.m.

Volunteers are also needed to help during the ceremony and during the dismantling. For more information or to volunteer, contact Jackie Concepcion at [email protected]

– The 30th annual Day of Caring volunteer event is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, September 10 and 11.

Agencies with opportunities can register at LiveUnitedLancaster.org/DayOfCaring. If your company is interested in a group project (subject to availability), email: [email protected]

Volunteer Portal

The United Way of Lancaster County Get Connected Volunteer Center portal is a free resource that connects people looking to volunteer with hundreds of local agencies for one-time, ongoing, general, and skilled needs.

Individuals can quickly create a profile, track their hours, and see the monetary value of their impact grow. Nonprofits can post requirements and streamline their volunteer tracking. Companies can align their volunteer activities with their philanthropic goals and create memorable team building events.

To find out more, visit uwlanc.org/volunteer or email: [email protected] If you would like to learn more about Get Connected software or have a conversation about how to start or expand an employee volunteer program, contact Cindi L. Moses, [email protected]

Cindi Moses is Executive Vice President of United Way of Lancaster County.

Comments are closed.