5 Ways that Volunteering is Healthy for Both Sides of the Generational Divide

Carla Adamic Outside

Winston Churchill said that “You make a living by what you get, you make a life by what you give.” Some of us are students, not certain where our careers and futures will take us. Others are retirees, having concluded our careers, but still living with purpose. Both groups have something to give and something to gain by volunteering their time and their talents. The benefits of volunteering are many for the old, the young and everyone in between. Here are a few ways volunteering can make your life better.

Fight Depression

No matter where you are in life, depression can strike.  One of the key factors that causes depression is social isolation. By coming together with others for a common cause, that isolation decreases. Couple that togetherness with a sense of purpose and feelings of self-doubt can be driven out and replaced with those of self-worth.  Complements from your fellow volunteers will serve important reminders that the world is a better place because of you. 

Learn Valuable Skills

Everyone has something to teach someone else. There are no exceptions. Seniors have lifetimes of experience that they can pass down to others. Younger people are more in tune with the rhythms and technologies of modern life. Volunteers can help each other find skills that can range from the entertaining to the life altering. Maybe by volunteering for an art program you could discover a passion for the arts? Or by helping to renovate a home you discover a talent for carpentry? Maybe you’ll discover a love for blogging? The possibilities are endless.


Create Lasting Friendships

There is no rule that says that friendship only occurs within the same generation. Bonds of friendship between generations are more common than you think. By volunteering together people both young and old can create lasting and meaningful bonds. Travelling together, watching sports, performing in concerts, and simply enjoying a good walk are experiences that can be shared by almost anyone. 

Make A Real Difference

While volunteering has a number of side benefits the main reason, to change the world for the better, is valuable in and of itself. Doing good is always its own reward.  There is no substitute for the pride, satisfaction and joy that comes from helping others.

To learn more about volunteering opportunities, visit us at rcjl.org.