We recently posted on our social media about the term “Volunesia.” At first glance, I thought this must be one of those made-up words describing a volunteer with amnesia, but learning its true meaning really resonated with me:
“That moment when you forget you’re volunteering to help change lives because it’s changing yours.”
I know that feeling very well and remember finding myself elbow to elbow with some of the most beautiful, interesting, devoted people I have ever met. Peeling beets, hosing off floor mats and “crying” over pounds of newly-diced onions, I found my home.
Even more convincing are the studies that show the benefits of this awesome activity. The Mayo Clinic recently published an article saying, “volunteering among adults, age 60 and over, provided benefits to physical and mental health, and volunteers report better physical health than do non volunteers. Research also has shown that volunteering leads to lower rates of depression and anxiety, especially for people 65 and older.”
In addition, it cites volunteering “provides a sense of purpose and teaches valuable skills and nurtures new and existing relationships.” Sounds pretty good to me and isn’t just for the older generation.
Our own organization has seen an increase in the younger folks signing up for volunteer tasks too. Some enjoy receiving school or extra-curricular credit that round out resumes or job applications.
Many have often heard me say that ‘I cannot thank our amazing volunteers enough,’ and it remains true to this day.
With close to 125 active no-strings-attached workers, Culinary Angels continues to be mostly volunteer-led and we simply cannot complete our mission without them.
Founder, Executive Director