A New Year of Volunteering

Using the start of a new year, I am pushing myself to try brand new volunteering experiences.  I will be starting to volunteer regularly with the Maryland SPCA and the Pratt Library, along with one-time opportunities as they arise with other organizations.  Why am I so eager to start the year off with plans to volunteer regularly?  Read on to learn about the benefits of volunteering!

Whether you have recently moved to an area or are a longtime resident, volunteering gives you a way to find a new community to belong to.  Volunteering with a nonprofit  can give you a window into concerns you may have not known existed in your own community. Connecting to, supporting, and giving  time to a cause you care about can give you a sense of purpose and a new sense of connection with others.

If you are hoping to gain some experience to use in a job search, volunteering can be a friendly, non-competitive way to start. Many of the organizations that Volunteer Maryland partners with offer their volunteers specialized experience that could boost a resume, or let you try out a possible new career option you’d been thinking about.

And from VolunteerMatch, research shows that there are even health benefits to volunteering!

  • More than 68% of those who volunteered in the past year report that volunteering made them feel physically healthier.
  • 29% of volunteers who suffer from a chronic condition say that volunteering has helped them manage their chronic illness.
  • 89% of volunteers agree that volunteering improved their sense of well-being.
  • 73% of volunteers feel that volunteering lowered their stress levels.
  • 92% of volunteers agree that volunteering enriches their sense of purpose in life. [read the full report]


Start volunteering and see what you can learn about yourself.  Our Volunteer Maryland Coordinators are exemplifying this as they choose where they will volunteer: facilitating financial literacy workshops, working with therapy horses, and starting a weekly game night at a shelter are among the volunteer activities they have picked up so far.  Compared to them, I could be doing a lot more, and I take that as a challenge to push myself further in the coming months.

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