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The Importance of Giving Back: How Volunteering Can Make a Difference

Volunteering is often seen as a selfless act of kindness, but did you know that it can also have a significant impact on both the volunteer and the community they serve? According to a report by the Corporation for National and Community Service, volunteers are 27% more likely to find employment than non-volunteers. Additionally, volunteers are more likely to report good health and wellbeing, and have higher levels of life satisfaction and happiness.

But the benefits of volunteering don't stop there. Volunteering can also help advance the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are a collection of 17 global goals set by the UN General Assembly to be achieved by 2030. These goals aim to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. Volunteering can contribute to several of these goals, including:

  1. No Poverty (Goal 1): Volunteering can help alleviate poverty by providing essential services, such as food banks and shelters, to those in need. It can also help people develop new skills and gain work experience, which can lead to better job opportunities and economic stability.

  2. Quality Education (Goal 4): Volunteering in schools and education programs can help improve access to education and promote literacy and learning.

  3. Good Health and Well-being (Goal 3): Volunteering in healthcare settings or with organizations that promote healthy lifestyles can help improve health outcomes and reduce health disparities.

  4. Sustainable Cities and Communities (Goal 11): Volunteering in community development projects or environmental initiatives can help promote sustainable living and improve the quality of life in urban areas.

These are just a few examples of how volunteering can contribute to the SDGs. But even beyond these goals, volunteering can have a positive impact on individuals and communities in countless ways.

One example is the story of Michael Norton, a social scientist who studies happiness. In his TEDx talk "How to Buy Happiness," Norton explains that spending money on others can actually make us happier than spending money on ourselves. In one study, participants who spent money on others reported higher levels of happiness than those who spent money on themselves. This highlights the idea that giving back through volunteering can be a powerful way to boost our own wellbeing, as well as that of others.

In conclusion, volunteering is more than just a kind gesture. It can provide tangible benefits to volunteers, contribute to global goals, and make a difference in the lives of those we serve. So why not consider volunteering in your local community or with a nonprofit organization that aligns with your values? You may be surprised at how rewarding it can be.

If you want to learn more about the power of giving back, I highly recommend watching Michael Norton's TEDx talk "How to Buy Happiness." In this talk, Norton provides fascinating insights into the science of happiness and the impact of giving on our wellbeing.

We are thrilled to offer gardening and volunteer sessions at The Source every Monday and Friday from 8 am to 10 am. Our sessions are open to anyone who is interested in learning more about gardening and volunteering their time to help us maintain our beautiful green space. During our sessions, you'll have the opportunity to work alongside experienced gardeners, learn new gardening techniques, and get your hands dirty while helping us plant, weed, and care for our plants. Whether you're a seasoned gardener or a beginner, we welcome you to join us and be a part of our community of volunteers who are dedicated to creating a sustainable and beautiful space for everyone to enjoy.

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