The Benefits of Volunteering With Habitat for Humanity
The reason so many people volunteer is that it feels good. You’re helping others, you can see the immediate fruits of your labor, and it can be a fantastic bonding experience with friends, family, or your fellow volunteers. This alone is reason enough to volunteer with Habitat, but there are even more benefits for your physical health, state of mind, and even your career that you can gain by signing up!
Invest in Your Community
When you volunteer with the Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity, you’re not just improving the lives of one family–you’re investing in the health, safety, and prosperity of your community. Building new homes in struggling neighborhoods increases property values. This positively impacts everything from crime rates to school funding in that area.
You’re also helping to break the chains of generational poverty for the people of your community. This means the next generation raised by these homeowners will be financially empowered to attend college, get better jobs, and improve their community. With an increase in education and earning potential comes a better economy, which benefits everyone in the community.
Learn a New Skill
New experiences are vital for our physical and mental health. When you have a new experience, dopamine and serotonin flood your brain. These feel-good chemicals can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, decrease physical pain, and help you form social bonds.
Experiencing something new also triggers the neural pathways in your brain, helping them form new connections. The more connections you form, the less likely you are to develop dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other cognitive diseases.
When you volunteer with Habitat, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about construction, interior design, and how to operate tools–all of which can come in handy when you own your own home. You’ll also learn about the impact that homeownership can have, not just on individuals and families breaking the cycle of generational poverty, but on the community itself. Understanding these connections can help you build your empathy, your connection to your faith, and your relationship with your community.
Make New Friends
Post-pandemic, we’re all struggling to rebuild our sense of community. Volunteering can put you in a situation where you’re surrounded by like-minded individuals who are interested in doing good for your shared community. Working together to put up walls, paint trim, and finish landscaping is a bonding experience like no other!
You’re not just laughing together, you’re learning together and working towards a common goal. This is one of the fastest ways to bond with new people. Volunteering has also been shown to release oxytocin–the social bonding chemical–in our brains, making it easier to connect with those around us.
Improve Your Career Path
Leadership is about service and sacrifice–understanding the needs of those around you and doing what it takes to meet those needs. Volunteering with Habitat for Humanity gives you the opportunity to hone your leadership skills and network with members of the community who have the same mindset.
Giving your time and talent to an organization can help you make connections and build your skillset, both of which can help you land a better job or get that promotion you’ve been looking for. This is especially true for those who serve on a board or in a volunteer leadership position. Strengthen your resume and your LinkedIn profile by including your volunteer experiences.
Volunteering has also been linked to a longer lifespan according to the Harvard School of Public Health. Their study found that people who regularly volunteered with non-profits and other organizations spent 38% less time in the hospital than those who did not.
Volunteering decreases stress, lowers blood pressure, improves social bonds, and increases cognitive function–all of which contribute to longer, healthier, and happier lives. And when you volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, those benefits are magnified by the benefits of physical exercise. Swinging a hammer, landscaping, and other construction tasks are all excellent forms of exercise!
When you invest your time into volunteering with Habitat you are investing in yourself, your neighbors, and your community. Learn more about volunteer opportunities here.