With busy lives, it can be hard to find time to volunteer. We may feel overwhelmed – “How can I give when I already feel like the tank is empty. The flip side of this is that volunteering helps us! It facilitates connection with community and the development of friendships; it is an opportunity to develop people skills in a purpose-driven social context. You may find new interests or abilities you didn’t know you had.
Even a few hours can make a huge difference in others’ lives and makes us feel happier – we are hard-wired to help each other and when we do, brain chemistry reflects that – it can make your whole day! Related to that, volunteering is a way to combat stress, a sense of isolation or depression. When we are more connected to others, we care more about them and they care more about us. This is particularly true if we have experienced the loss of someone or something we love.
Volunteering can get us out of our heads, and be more in the world and live longer! Studies have shown that volunteers have a lower mortality rate, are more fit and can cope with everyday trials better.
The London School of Economics found that the more people volunteered, the happier they were. Compared with those who never volunteered, monthly volunteers were 7% more likely to be “very happy”;bi-weekly volunteers by 12% and weekly volunteers by 16%. If you are just entering the workplace, you can have an opportunity to practice workplace skills such as teamwork, consensus building, troubleshooting, project management and plain good experience in an area that might interest you.
The Village Gallery, part of the Monashee Arts Council, welcomes volunteers. We will train you in operation of a SQuare terminal, customer service, inventory tracking, and various digital programs. A three hour shift once a week gives you an opportunity to work with a team that loves art in all its forms. Learn how to create a poster using Canva, or help hang a gallery show. With volunteering, the most important requirements include a cheerful can-do willingness and openness. The rest will follow.
For more information, contact the Monashee Arts Council at 778-473-3029.