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Volunteering: Develop a healthy lifestyle while helping others

 

Last updated 8/17/2017 at Noon

John McAlpine, Volunteer Recruiter

These are just a few of the many volunteer opportunities that exist in Snohomish County. No matter where you live, we can find something for you. Questions? Call me at 425-374-6374.

Sometimes I’m asked, “Why is volunteering good for us?”

UnitedHealth Group commissioned a national survey of 3,351 adults and found that the overwhelming majority of participants reported feeling mentally and physically healthier after a volunteer experience.

They report the following:

• 76 percent of people who volunteered in the last 12 months said that volunteering has made them feel healthier;

• 94 percent of people who volunteered in the last 12 months said that volunteering improved their mood;

• 78 percent of them said that volunteering lowered their stress levels.

You too can experience these good things by volunteering. For example;

Student Mentors

With school starting soon, help will be needed in the classroom and after school. Teaching experience is not required, just a desire to help students do their best. A few hours volunteering a week can change someone’s life, including yours!

SHIBA

SHIBA is a program of Homage Senior Services. It stands for Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors. You are trained (40 hours to be exact) to help people make informed decisions. With this training you will be able to help Medicare eligible clients of all ages make choices regarding insurance. You assist people with problem-solving and understanding the complex world of medical insurance.

Food Banks

There is a serious food problem in Washington state. Children and the elderly are the most affected, making up over 50 percent of the people utilizing the emergency food system. For school-aged children, according to the Food Lifeline website (www.foodlifeline.org), Washington state ranks 49th in the nation for summer breakfast participation. While you may not be able to help with that issue, there is plenty to do helping food banks take care of their clients. All the food banks in Snohomish County can use your help. RSVP works with most of them. You can work behind the scenes, with clients or both.

Volunteer Transportation

Imagine not having a car. Imagine trying to get around using the bus. Imagine, for example, living in Stanwood and your doctor is in Edmonds. This is what life is like for many of our Volunteer Transportation clients. They don’t have a car to run the errands and take care of the tasks everyday life demands. You can help by giving rides. You choose where you drive and how often. A perfect driving record is NOT required.

To learn more, contact John McAlpine, Volunteer Recruiter, Retired and Senior Volunteers, Catholic Community Services, Everett, at 425-374-6374 or johnm@ccsww.org.

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