Library volunteers and staff enjoying live entertainment at the 2019 Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon.

Not "Just" Volunteers - September 20, 2021

This month’s theme, “Community Heroes” came about after one of our volunteers was referred to as, “just a volunteer.”  She responded with, “I’m not just a volunteer, I'm a community hero!”  We all loved this so much that a new attitude was born.

Volunteers, whether at the library or in any other service, are an indispensable, selfless, hard working group of people, who give their time and heart in exchange for…

Well, how exactly are volunteers impacted by volunteering?

According to the Independent Sector, which calculates the Estimated National Value of Each Volunteer Hour the current value stands at $27.20 an hour.
These valuable people give back to their community by filling gaps in staffing and providing expertise that come from many varied life experiences. They make a real difference. And they do it for free.
But the rewards are greater than any paycheck.According to research at Project Helping:
95% of volunteers say they are helping to make their community a better place. And 96% feel that it enriches their sense of purpose.

Helping others kindles happiness, as many studies have demonstrated. When researchers at the London School of Economics examined the relationship between volunteering and measures of happiness in a large group of American adults, they found the more people volunteered, the happier they were.

According to a study in Social Science and Medicine, compared with people who never volunteered, the odds of being “very happy” rose 7% among those who volunteer monthly and 12% for people who volunteer every two to four weeks.

Among weekly volunteers, 16% felt very happy—a hike in happiness comparable to having an income of $75,000–$100,000 versus $20,000, say the researchers.
-Adapted with permission from Simple Changes, Big Rewards: A Practical, Easy Guide for Healthy, Happy Living, a special health report published by Harvard Health Publications.

Volunteering literally makes you healthier, stronger, more connected, and less stressed.  They make our communities stronger and healthier too,  from the largest organization down to the individual. Volunteers literally improve quality of life for the people around them and in their own lives. So in exchange for a few hours of your time you get to become a superhero.  Volunteers know this.  It’s their secret to success.