Volunteering has health benefits

I’ve been talking about volunteering lately and even been a volunteer for blood donations in the last few articles. I wanted to mention a few words from Rhonda, one of our public health nurses here at the Health Unit. Here, she talks about volunteering and its health impacts. Want a quick way to feel better? Try volunteering!

You’re probably saying, “I don’t have time,” or “I’m too tired”, but studies have shown that being active in your community has health benefits, including boosting your energy levels and improving your mood. The good news is, that it doesn’t even have to take much time. Simple things like giving blood, helping a neighbor with a task, and even voting, create connections within our communities that contribute to our social and mental well-being. That translates into physical well-being. Rhonda has a good point here, volunteering is just all-around good for you. The Health Unit will be partnering for some training this week with the Red Cross. Being a team member of the Red Cross is a great way to help your neighbor. It doesn’t mean you have to be a first responder. You could be a volunteer for the Red Cross on the prevention side, helping others prevent disasters or be prepared for emergencies. For example, last February, according to the American Red Cross website, they responded to more than 5,200 home fires all over the U.S. In so many ways, home fires can be prevented but even more critical is how to get out quickly and save lives. In our county, we can make a big difference. One way is to get working fire alarms in our homes and our neighbors’ homes. Many homes in our county are older homes. They may have had working fire alarms at one time but haven’t been replaced or maybe they never had alarms at all. The Red Cross has free fire alarms to give and will even train volunteers to go out and help install them. Installing fire alarms can have a big impact on saving lives and, to get back to volunteering, make you feel good! If you want to learn more about volunteering for the Red Cross and getting fire alarms to more homes in our county, call us at the Health Unit or go to the Red Cross website and become a volunteer. You can do it for health and be a good neighbor at the same time. Medina County Health Unit: 830-741-6191.