In honor of National Volunteer Month, we spoke to our very own Office of Volunteer Management Program Manager, Betty McLeroy, about the benefits of volunteerism and the importance of volunteers in our community.
%u201CThe biggest reason you should volunteer is the health benefits, both mental and physical. I always say in my volunteer orientations, if you want to live to be 100, volunteer!%u201D Betty is right; %u201Cvolunteers have greater longevity, higher functional ability, lower rates of depression and less incidence of heart disease%u201D (Grand Times, 2007). The amount of time you volunteer, the activities you do, etc. are not important. What matters is %u201Cthe act of volunteering%u201D (The Secret to those Happy Golden Years). Betty adds that, %u201Cthe important thing is that volunteering helps individuals feel needed and useful!%u201D
Betty says she can%u2019t stress enough how much volunteers matter. %u201CWithout volunteers, most nonprofits couldn%u2019t survive.%u201D She cites programs like Meals on Wheels and our adult day health care center, The Retreat, who are mostly made up of volunteers. Betty continues, %u201Cthis spreads out to impact the community as a whole.%u201D
%u201CThese people are truly angels in our midst. They are really special people that make a decision to give of themselves for the benefit of others. It%u2019s an act of love.%u201D Betty finds words of thank you difficult. %u201CNo one can express deeply enough how much they [volunteers] are needed and appreciated, we couldn%u2019t do it without them. %u2018Grateful%u2019 isn%u2019t enough.%u201D
Betty thinks for a moment and adds, %u201CVolunteers give you faith in humanity!%u201D
If you have ever volunteered, our COA team extends a heartfelt thank you! Happy volunteering!
Council on Aging of West Florida is compliant with the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance Standards for Charity Accountability. Learn more at www.bbb.org.