National Volunteer Month — Getting Active as a Volunteer Has Personal Rewards!

Plus Long-Time Volunteers with Our United Way Share Their Unique Experiences

Every April is National Volunteer Month and National Volunteer Week, and our United Way celebrates this time by recognizing the impact of volunteer service and the power of volunteers to build stronger communities.

United, we are:

By helping people, volunteers are changing lives, but the benefits to you — as a volunteer — can be even greater. Giving to others can help protect your mental and physical health by reducing stress, combating depression, staying mentally stimulated and providing a sense of purpose.

The range of personal benefits when you volunteer is innumerable. For example, The Mayo Clinic reports volunteers experience better physical health than nonvolunteers and people who volunteer have lower mortality rates than those who do not.

Other benefits include:

  1. Providing a sense of purpose by becoming part of something greater than yourself
  2. Building a sense of community by being connected to like-minded, purpose-driven people
  3. Making new friends by interacting with people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives
  4. Increasing social skills by meeting new people (both clients and other volunteers)
  5. Improving self-esteem and self-confidence by infusing a sense of accomplishment
  6. Teaching professional skills by being an advocate, raising awareness, raising funds, speaking in public and much more
  7. Increasing happiness by contributing to important causes, building bonds with people of all ages, finding motivation and staying active

This month, we also are shining a light on some volunteers with our United Way who generously give their time, talent and voice to help build a stronger, better Broward County. We asked each why they love to volunteer.

“The idea of giving back, helping others and making a difference was planted in my soul beginning with Girl Scouts, and my desire to serve was cultivated when I lived in a developing country and saw the many ways I could help others. As an educator, I have been able to teach students kindness and helped them explore all the benefits that come with being volunteerism. Important lessons I have learned by being a volunteer are everyone has something special to offer and every volunteer makes a difference.”
— Bonnie Maya, volunteer with Gulfstream Academy

“I enjoy volunteering with United Way of Broward County because it provides me with the best opportunities to make lasting changes in our community. Providing a range of support to critical programs supporting the Health, Education, and Financial Prosperity of all people at any age makes all the difference in the world. Being a part of United Way’s NextGen United, I can see the tangible impact of our work, meet like-minded people and improve lives across Broward.”
— Chase Bowman, volunteer with Next Gen United

“It’s the everyday men and women who make the difference. When I became a part of United Way of Broward County, I began a new phase of my career and life. I have been active with MISSION UNITED, Women United and the Public Policy Committee. I also am in a leadership role for the Behavioral Health Conference, specifically with planning for the faith-based community. Being a volunteer has been a privilege, and by making a difference all over our community, I have been given a sense of fulfillment.”
— Stella Tokar, volunteer with MISSION UNITED

“I volunteer because it’s important for people to see they are loved and not forgotten. I truly care about helping people get to the next steps for having better opportunities and better lives. Being a volunteer also sets a great example for my children, shows them to care for people in need and instills in them the belief they can make the world a better place.”
— Erika Axani, volunteer with Women United and the Tocqueville Society

“My experience always has been volunteers are making the world a better place by giving back to our community.”
— Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren, volunteer with the Commission on Behavioral Health & Drug Prevention

A wide variety of volunteer opportunities are available at United Way of Broward County. With your help, we can improve lives, instill hope, create opportunities and help children, adults and seniors live their best possible lives.

Be a part of something greater — click here to find a volunteer opportunity with United Way of Broward County that works best for you!