Food insecurity below U.S. average


Food insecurity near U.S. average


Food insecurity above U.S. average

Hunger knows no boundaries. Click on a state to see hunger and health statistics and corresponding volunteer projects.

e.g., environment or mentoring

e.g., 90210 or New York, NY

Volunteering is Good for You

There’s a little known secret that volunteers know well: volunteering is good for you. UnitedHealth Group and the Optum Institute released the Doing Good is Good for You: 2013 Health and Volunteering Study which reveals that U.S. adults who volunteer report that they feel better, both physically and emotionally than adults who don’t volunteer.

The study reveals four key benefits of volunteering: improved health, reduced stress, a sense of purpose and engagement in actively managing their own health.

Health: Volunteers report feeling better on all levels – physically, mentally and emotionally. Recent studies have shown that volunteering releases the neurotransmitter known as dopamine, reinforcing positive behavior, creating the desire to continue or repeat the pleasant experience.

Stress: Volunteers are better able to manage, and even lower their stress levels through the simple act of helping others. A recent study by Carnegie Mellon cites that those who regularly volunteer are less likely to develop high blood pressure than those who don’t volunteer at all. This may be due in part to an increase in physical activity by the volunteer.

Purpose: Volunteers feel a deeper connection to communities and other. Giving time to a personally meaningful cause creates a sense of purpose. If this is a shared experience it can also serve as a catalyst to strengthen connections with other volunteers.

Engagement: Volunteers are more informed health care consumers and more engaged and involved in managing their health.

Volunteering is invaluable to the organizations that rely on the help, but perhaps the bigger winners are the volunteers themselves. Volunteers receive the benefit of knowing they are making a difference in the lives of others. In exchange they are able to broaden their own support network and forge lasting friendships, creating an overall sense of belonging.

You can start receiving these great benefits right now.


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