Every year on December 5, people around the world celebrate International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development. In order to acknowledge and celebrate the selfless efforts of volunteers everywhere, including those who serve with the UN, the day is also known as International Volunteer Day (IVD). The United Nations (UN) General Assembly established the international observance in 1985.
International Volunteer Day 2022
The theme of solidarity through service is the focus of the 2022 International Volunteer Day (IVD). This campaign serves as a reminder of the ability of humanity as a whole to effect change for the better through volunteerism.
On International Volunteers Day, people, groups, and communities can raise awareness of the contributions volunteers make at the local, state, and federal levels. The best method to observe this day is to volunteer or contribute to organisations, governmental agencies, non-profit organisations, community groups, and academic institutions. Every year, hundreds of millions of people donate their time and talents to help others.
Benefits of Volunteering
Volunteering is not just beneficial to the beneficiaries of the cause one is volunteering for. It is, in fact, also beneficial for the volunteers themselves. Let us look at some of these benefits to feel encouraged to volunteer.
1. Building Confidence
Volunteering helps in building confidence in a person. Volunteering allows a person to try out new things and broaden their skillset. Developing these new skills helps them gain more confidence to perform well professionally. In addition, any positive outcome is welcome in volunteering. Therefore, irrespective of how often or how much one can contribute, they will end up with a sense of achievement to some extent. Besides, a sense of pride accompanies a volunteer because of the knowledge that they are doing something good for someone else.
2. Improving Health
People are kept active and thinking at the same time by volunteering. Volunteers report higher physical health than non-volunteers, according to research on the benefits of volunteering for persons 60 and older in terms of physical and mental health. Additionally, studies have found that volunteering lowers rates of anxiety and sadness, particularly in older adults (65 and older).
By producing dopamine, volunteering lowers stress and elevates happy, calm feelings. Volunteers who donate their time to helping others report experiencing a sense of meaning and appreciation, both given and received, which can help lower their stress levels. The risk of several physical and mental health issues, including heart disease, stroke, depression, anxiety, and general illness, is further reduced by reduced stress. Additionally, even after adjusting for age, gender, and physical health, a Longitudinal Study of Aging discovered that volunteers have lower mortality rates than those who do not.
Volunteering allows a person to build a solid and supportive network with individuals from all walks of life. This can be beneficial to a person not only in a social sense but also in a professional setting.
Volunteers are often assigned the responsibility to organise events wherein they entertain high-profile guests, allowing them to interact and network with them. In this way, they can further their career goals while positively impacting the community.