How You Can Participate in National Volunteer MonthApril 5, 2021
At Dudley DeBosier, we take our duty to our community seriously.
Whether that’s through helping young Louisianians achieve their dreams with our college scholarship (deadline to apply is April 30th, 2021!), preventing drunk driving accidents before they happen through our Free Rides campaign, supporting local Louisiana charities, or encouraging acts of service through our #DoRight4LA campaign, we know that there is so much that we can do for our community beyond helping victims of accidents get compensation, and we want to do it whenever and however we can.
Altogether, our dedication to helping our community is a big reason why we love National Volunteer Month! Every April, we observe National Volunteer Month by promoting and celebrating volunteerism in Louisiana.
How Did National Volunteer Month Get Started?
National Volunteer Week first originated in Canada in 1943 to honor the contributions of women during World War II, and quickly spread to other countries. Although popularity waned after the war, the event was revived in the late ‘60s and was officially recognized in the U.S. in 1974 by executive order by President Nixon. National Volunteer Month sprang up around National Volunteer week, and now honors all volunteers.
Benefits of Volunteering
Volunteering isn’t just good for society, it’s great for the mind and the body as well! Several scientific studies have linked volunteering with improved mental well-being, as well as some surprising health benefits.
Individuals who volunteer score higher on self-esteem, sense of purpose, and life satisfaction, lower on stress, and are even less likely to develop depression or Alzheimer’s than those who don’t.
Furthermore, a 2013 study found that people who volunteered at least 200 hours per year were 40% less likely to develop high blood pressure than those who volunteered less. People who volunteer regularly may even live longer—irrespective of age, gender, and physical health—according to data collected by the Longitudinal Study of Aging, and people who volunteer may even experience less pain when suffering from chronic conditions.
Volunteering allows people to increase social interaction and build new relationships and support systems, all while learning new skills and staying physically active.
If you haven’t had the opportunity to volunteer before, we encourage you to look for opportunities near you. You may be surprised by how much you enjoy the experience! And there’s no better time than National Volunteer Month to try.
Volunteering Opportunities in Louisiana in April 2021
There’s no getting around the fact that we’re still not out of this pandemic, and opportunities to volunteer in person aren’t as plentiful as they might usually be. However, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to help others in your community.
Things to Consider When Looking for Volunteer Opportunities
- What is your goal for volunteering? (ex. to improve your neighborhood, meet new people, learn a new skill, etc.)
- What causes are important to you?
- Would you prefer to work with people, or animals? Children, or adults?
- Do you prefer to work alone, or as part of a team?
- Do you prefer to be in a visible role, or behind the scenes?
- How much time can you commit?
- How can you use your skills to help others in this role?
Where to Look for Volunteer Opportunities in Louisiana
There are many deserving organizations out there who need great volunteers like you! Luckily, there are several places to start looking, including:
- Youth organizations
- Places of worship
- Community centers
- Service organizations like Rotary Clubs or Lions Clubs
- Online directories like VolunteerMatch.org and VolunteerLouisiana.gov
Things to Consider Before Getting Started
Bring a friend: Agreeing to volunteer with someone else allows you to hold each other accountable to your commitment.
Don’t commit to too much right away: You don’t need to dive straight into volunteering multiples times a week to make a difference in your community, or your own life. Studies recommend just two hours per week is enough to produce benefits to your health!
Know what you’re getting into: Don’t be afraid to ask questions of more experienced volunteers and learn what will be expected of you. If you need training, ask for it. And if you don’t feel comfortable in your current position, there’s no shame in asking to do something else, or searching for another volunteer opportunity.
Excited about becoming a volunteer? We are, too! Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, or visit our Dudley DeBosier in the Community page to learn what we’re doing for our communities across Louisiana.