If you had the opportunity to help serve your community while simultaneously lowering your risk for depression, heart disease, and physical decline, would you take it? Sounds like a no brainer right? Truly a win-win situation. A report came out in 2007, titled “Health Benefits of Volunteering: A Review of Recent Research” found exactly those things in addition to statistics that show that people who volunteer regularly actually live longer lives! Researchers suspect that the improved health is likely due to a greater sense of purpose, enhanced social networks, and improved happiness and self esteem (positive mindset). So in essence, volunteering improves the very three things that we consider as critical factors in enjoying a long and healthy life. It is no wonder that all of the longest living cultures around the world make volunteering a way of life. Whether it is caring for sick children in their village or helping out at the local church or other community event, there is no denying their ability to give without expecting anything in return. So what is stopping many of us from volunteering on a regular basis? Most people would suggest time as their biggest obstacle. But unfortunately, that is not a very good excuse. Researchers found that 40 – 100 hours of volunteering per year was the amount of time required to receive the health benefits listed above. That works out to be 1-2 hours per week. Doesn’t sound like much put that way. We understand that in this day and age, time is precious, but we also understand that selflessly giving our time to a cause that benefits others is one of the greatest things we can do as human beings. Our objective is not to make you feel guilty by not volunteering, but rather to enhance your life by encouraging you to do something bigger than yourself.