The good feelings we get from performing volunteer work may make a real difference in a do-gooder's heart health.
According to Scientific American, a study conducted at the University of British Columbia found lower levels of cholesterol and inflammation in students who volunteer.
Half of the study's student participants assisted elementary students with homework, sports, or other activities for one hour per week over the course of 10 weeks. The remaining half of student participants did not perform any volunteer work.
Students who reported the highest increases in empathetic and charitable behavior after volunteering showed the greatest health improvements, suggesting that the work that brings you the most joy in turn brings you better health.
If service work benefits both the giver and recipient, why don't we do it more often? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, rates of volunteerism have hovered consistently around 26 percent for the past five years.
Maybe it's because we don't know where to go. Maybe it's because we "never find the time." But in truth, opportunities to help our neighbors are pretty easy to come by. You and your distance learner can connect with an organization in a matter of minutes with just an Internet connection.
Here are three websites that connect volunteers of all ages with local organizations based on their personal interests:
With a quick search by topic and location, your distance learning family can find dozens of local organizations in need of volunteers. Choose one that resonates with your personal interests and give them a call.
For a list of popular national and international volunteer groups or ideas on how to get your student to help out in your local community, check out these ways to grow student involvement in community service.