Vol­un­teer­ing

Builds Com­mu­ni­ties, Im­proves Lives

Focus of SWFL - - Content -

The op­por­tu­ni­ties to help your com­mu­nity are end­less. It’s as easy as link­ing your tal­ents with causes you are pas­sion­ate about or that have af­fected you per­son­ally. With so many char­i­ta­ble causes and or­ga­ni­za­tions, it’s easy to find a vol­un­teer op­por­tu­nity that’s per­fect for you. Ac­cord­ing to re­search con­ducted by the Cor­po­ra­tion for Na­tional and Com­mu­nity Ser­vice, those who vol­un­teer have lower mor­tal­ity rates, re­ported more self-worth and had fewer cases of de­pres­sion. And the pos­i­tive benefits don’t end there. Vol­un­teer­ing also pro­motes the feel­ings of ac­com­plish­ment and per­sonal ful­fill­ment rarely found in other ac­tiv­i­ties. Though the list of vol­un­teer ac­tiv­i­ties is vast, here are a few causes that can be found in most com­mu­ni­ties: • Give blood: Due to ac­ci­dents or ill­nesses, thou­sands of peo­ple are in need of blood each day. Or­ga­nize or par­tic­i­pate in a blood drive at your church, so­cial group or school. You can also vol­un­teer at the lo­cal bank within your com­mu­nity. • Build homes: Do you en­joy us­ing your hands and be­ing out­doors? Or­ga­ni­za­tions, such as Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity, uti­lize vol­un­teer la­bor, ma­te­rial dona­tions and mon­e­tary sup­port to build and re­ha­bil­i­tate houses for fam­i­lies in need of de­cent shel­ter. To sup­port this cause, M&M’S Brand has cre­ated the M’Prove Amer­ica move­ment, and will pro­vide more than $500,000 to help build Habi­tat homes across the coun­try. The brand is also ral­ly­ing Amer­i­cans to do­nate their time and tal­ents to help build Habi­tat homes. • Adopt a fam­ily: Nat­u­ral dis­as­ters wreak havoc on com­mu­ni­ties, de­stroy­ing homes and lives. Many or­ga­ni­za­tions help fam­i­lies who’ve lost their homes and be­long­ings by pro­vid­ing as­sis­tance with cloth­ing, per­sonal hy­giene prod­ucts and other ne­ces­si­ties to get them back on their feet. Such or­ga­ni­za­tions also look for as­sis­tance dur­ing the hol­i­days to en­sure chil­dren and par­ents aren’t for­got­ten dur­ing the sea­son of giv­ing. Get a group of friends to­gether and con­sider adopt­ing a fam­ily in need. • Help at food bank: Hunger has be­come a na­tional epi­demic, touch­ing lives in al­most ev­ery re­gion of Amer­ica. Many vol­un­teer op­por­tu­ni­ties are avail­able for this wor­thy cause. Con­sider help­ing at a food kitchen to serve the hun­gry di­rectly, box up food ship­ments for other banks or start a food drive com­pe­ti­tion with co-work­ers to see who can give the most. A sim­ple on­line search will point you in the di­rec­tion of the per­fect vol­un­teer op­por­tu­ni­ties that fit your lifestyle. Many sites also of­fer in­ter­ac­tive ways to show your pride and in­volve­ment in the cause. One such site has been de­signed for the M&M’S Brand part­ner­ship with Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity. To learn more about how you can get in­volved and pledge hours to vol­un­teer, visit www.mproveam­er­ica.com.

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