Volunteering Is Good for Your Health?

The holidays are often filled with hustle and bustle.

But for Karen and I, this time of year is also when we like to give back to our community.

I’m a huge fan of volunteering.

Volunteering not only gives you a feel-good “helper’s high,” research has found volunteering can provide real health benefits, like lowering your risk of heart disease, improving your mood, easing pain… and even improving longevity.

This year, the pandemic has put a crimp in most traditional volunteer plans.

But there are still ways you can serve your community safely.

Like donating to a nonprofit whose purpose speaks to you.

Love animals? Donate to your local animal shelter.

Want to help our U.S. Veterans? Consider giving to some of the charities we here at Patriot Health Alliance support, like Fisher House Foundation, Hire Heroes, The Soldier’s Project and Pets for Vets.

Many nonprofits are hurting right now and would be most grateful for whatever you are able to give.

With the economic downturn, many food banks and pantries are serving more families than ever.

You could donate non-perishable food. Or, contact them about volunteering in person to pack and sort donated foods and supplies.

Not sure where to find a food bank? Check out Feeding America or Food Pantries to find an organization near you.

Another way you can help? Donate blood.

According to the American Red Cross, the months of November and December are typically challenging to collect blood. The pandemic has made it even more difficult with the cancellation of blood drives.

If you’re eligible, contact a blood bank to see if you can donate.

Finally, stay in touch with neighbors and friends who are alone right now, particularly those who are older.

This time of year can bring sadness to those who don’t have someone to spend the holidays with.

But with the pandemic forcing many folks to stay home, that sense of loneliness will only increase.

A simple phone call or a conversation through the door could really brighten their day.

With COVID, everything feels a little different this year, even volunteering.

But the need for donations and volunteer time is even greater.

If you have the means and the time, consider giving. 

You could, quite literally, save a life. And, it will make you feel pretty good, too.

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Pamela Dashiell - November 30, 2020

Since I have been working as a Board Member of the Transylvania County Board of Elections for the past three years and we just finalized the 2020 election after many meetings preparing for the primary, working during a runoff election and then the General Election, I have been quite busy without additional time for volunteering.
Prior to this board position, I volunteered with the NC Republican Party in many positions since 2010. I think I deserve some time off now! I just turned 80, so I think I have earned the time to just choose what I would like to do each day!

Karen L Hoover - November 30, 2020

DearJeff: It’s awfully uplifting hearing from a business that is interested in community spirit and welfare and not just a plug for their product. (looking at your volunteer letter). I feel like you’re the real article!—a guy making his way in the capitalist world, earning a living for himself and family with his idea for this company, yet not forgetting the down to earth lives and health of his customers. The letter felt genuine and I just wanted to thank you for it. I wish you, your family, and your company all the best through this pandemic and into the coming years…..

scott A anderson - November 30, 2020

I enjoy your suggestions and encouragement to donate time, recources and give back :)

Jack Reed - November 30, 2020

For those that would like to volunteer at a wolf sanctuary you may call
(623) 386-9653 ask for Kelly. Located 50 miles west of Phoenix.
We are a 501c3 for those that would like to donate.

Sharon Brooks - November 30, 2020

Hey jeff just incase I forget happy
Thankgiving and I am not blood give
Because I have a problem with that
For blood test. And jeff my church
Have food pantry I do volunteer on
Wednesday. You are a incourager.

Nancy C Tuxford - November 30, 2020

You are so right Jeff, when you donate or volunteer your time, it certainly makes you feel better. It will light up your heart and those you are helping. I have been on both sides, I have given my time to help people in need and have been that needy person at different times in my life. I have given in many ways. I have donated to charities that I believe in, and I have donated things, ( clothes,food,blankets,coats,household items,etc.)taken blankets and coats to people on the street. I have worked making food and feeding people at a shelter, among other things. The gratefulness and kindness expressed by the recipients cannot do anything but warm your heart. When I have fallen on hard times, the generosity of others has shown me how wonderful and kind people can be. I can’t tell you how blessed I felt in those low moments. Instead of throwing things away, if people would just give! With COVID here, so many are in need. That is why I buy from you, because you donated to veterans. Thank you.

Kathleen Atlee - November 30, 2020

I just love Jeff’s blogs, columns, or whatever the term is for his always interesting and positive emails. The one about volunteering was excellent. I have been donating a bit here and there to causes dear to my heart. I had hoped to volunteer at the Vet Center or VA Hospital after I retired, but of course Covid19 has
put that on hold for awhile. One opportunity I could turn my hand to is sewing a quilt for Quilts of Valor or Quilts of Honor, two national organizations which give special quilts to veterans. So keep those in mind if anyone asks about ways to help. Thank you for bringing happy thoughts to our email. Wishing you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Robert V. Parker - November 30, 2020

Your comments on volunteering – right on!

Fran Bernholz - November 30, 2020

I donate each month the the ASPCA and I donate to Republican candidates. I just donated the Defending the Republic.org for the Sydney Powell fund for criminal investigations of fraud in the Nov. Voting election system and to Republican causes. I live on social security, but I do what I can to help.

Charles Rauer - November 30, 2020

Hi there in regards to your message on volunteering,I myself am in a nursing and rehabilitation facility.I’ve been here almost 2 years rehabbing from surgery that I had to have. With the Vivid outbreak we have been on quarantine since March. I have tried to use my sense of humor to bring laughter to the other residents as well as the staff. It makes me feel better to see how it has helped. CHARLES RAUER

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