Volunteers are the heart of ICS, making it possible for the organization to serve more than 60,000 Pima County residents a year. They support every program and service at ICS, along with daily operations and facilities.
The benefits of volunteering are huge for the individuals whose lives are changed and the community that is strengthened as a result, but they can be even greater for the volunteer. Here are 10 benefits of finding time to serve.
Volunteers become part of something greater than themselves. If you’re retired or an empty nester, unexpectedly unemployed, in a “boring” job, or have lost a loved one, helping others can give your life new meaning.
It gets people up, out, and moving. Some positions, like working in a food bank or community garden, can even provide a workout that doesn’t feel like a workout.
3. PHYSICAL HEALTH
Studies have found that those who volunteer have a lower mortality rate than those who do not, even when considering the underlying health of participants. Volunteering can also lessen symptoms of chronic pain or heart disease.
4. MENTAL HEALTH
Volunteering reduces stress and increases positive, relaxed feelings by releasing dopamine. Research has shown that it also leads to lower rates of depression and anxiety.
It can provide a healthy boost to self-confidence, self-esteem, and life satisfaction. Doing good for others and the community provides a natural sense of accomplishment, pride, and identity.
Volunteer training and service teaches valuable skills and uses talents and abilities in new ways.
7. CAREER ADVANCEMENT
While gaining skills and experience to put on your resume, you might also meet people while volunteering who can become your mentors or at least a part of your professional social network.
Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, especially if you are new to Tucson. It puts you in contact with others who have similar interests and values.
It strengthens knowledge of and ties to the community. Volunteering also broadens your support network.
10. FUN & FULFILLMENT
Volunteering provides opportunities to explore interests, passions, and hobbies, to participate in community events, and to tackle interesting challenges with creative problem solving.
Don’t take our word for it—some of our volunteers share how they benefit from their service:
“Driving the town to help people has been so much fun, discovering the nooks and crannies of our city.”
John W., ICS volunteer since 2015
“ICS continues to be a beacon of help in our community. I am proud and blessed to have been a part of it over these many years.”
Susan L., ICS volunteer since 1985
“Always heard this, but I have experienced it myself and now say the same thing: I get more out of volunteering than the people I give to.”
Dick B., ICS volunteer since 1997
“I volunteer because it gets me out to meet people. I make new connections and friends while I help others.”
Art A., ICS volunteer since 2009
“I love all the people I give rides to… they are all so unique and special. I enjoy the one-on-one time with people and getting to know them.”
Susan E., ICS volunteer since 2021
“I get to serve people every day in a meaningful way. I am being God’s hand to help them get what they need.”
Toni H., ICS volunteer since 2019
“My theory of life is that you are put here to meet people and learn from them. Everyone has a story.”
Vincent A., ICS volunteer since 2018