I recently read an article by Casey N. Cep in the online Pacific Standard magazine called “Your Kindness is Good for You.” The article referenced the work by done Dr. Stephen G. Post in 2005 on the relationship between altruism and health.
Intrigued by the idea, I consulted one of the 21st century’s “go-to” sources of information (also known as Google) and found a wealth of information about the positive impact of volunteering on the health of volunteers.
One particularly interesting example is the United Health Group’s 2103 Health and Volunteering Study called “Doing Good Is Good For You.”
Based on a survey of 3,351 adults in the United States, the United Health Group reports that:
- Volunteers say that they feel better – physically, mentally and emotionally
- Volunteering helps people manage and lower stress levels
- Volunteers feel a deeper connection to communities and to others
- Volunteers are more informed health care consumers and are more engaged and involved in taking care of their health
Of the people who volunteered in the 12 months before the survey, 95 per cent said that they are helping to make their community a better place.
Anyone who is interested in reading the United Health Group study can find it under the Social Responsibility heading at www.unitedhealthgroup.com.
Almonte General Hospital and Fairview Manor are blessed with hundreds of volunteers who give many thousands of hours to support safe, high quality care for the patients, residents and families we serve. Our volunteers come from all walks of life and span the generations from teenagers to great-grandparents.
Their dedication to governance, fundraising, helping staff behind the scenes, improving the visual environment and working directly with patients and residents—to name just some of their contributions—goes a long way to making our Hospital and long-term care home the special places that they are. It is gratifying to know that our volunteers are also benefitting from their time with us.
On behalf of our patients, residents, physicians and staff, I would like to thank our volunteers for their gifts of time, energy and talent. We are grateful for all that you do.
Mary Wilson Trider is President & CEO of the Almonte General Hospital/Fairview Manor