It's obvious that community service has a huge impact on those that it serves, but what is often overlooked is the influence it has on the volunteers themselves. Working with others on a humanitarian project creates an environment that can facilitate the growth of leadership and social skills, self-esteem, and even better general physical health. Points of Light, an international non-profit that focuses on volunteer service, as well as the University of Nevada-Reno, both published research articles on the effect of volunteering on youth, and the results are encouraging:
Over the last 10 years, youth volunteering has risen dramatically. 30% of youth participate in volunteer activities at least once a month. This is a huge increase, considering youth now spend 2.4 billion hours a year volunteering, which equates to a $34.3 billion increase to the U.S. economy.
Youth who volunteer do better in school, get better grades, and are 50% less likely to use drugs, alcohol, or engage in risky behaviors. Those who donate their time also experience greater health benefits than those who don't, including greater mental health like the reduction of depression and anxiety.
The effects go even deeper, as youth who volunteer are 3 times more likely to volunteer as adults, and 81% of those who volunteer continue to donate as they get older.
It's now proven that youth who volunteer grow up to be stable, compassionate adults who also volunteer.
Friends for Youth promotes the benefits of volunteering to our mentor/mentee friendships, and always encourages our youth to join in volunteering opportunities.
An upcoming friendship volunteering event at the San Francisco Zoo is coming up, and we are so excited to impact the lives of our youth and the community!
Stay tuned for updates!