Is volunteering on your holiday to-do list? If not, here are 10 reasons to volunteer for a non-profit – and its benefits.

1.Volunteering improves the lives of others. From beautifying a public park to visiting our kupuna (elderly) in a nursing home, volunteering makes other’s lives better.

2. Volunteering makes a community a better place. When you put in volunteer work, you make a positive impact on your community – and that makes it a better place for everyone. In fact, a recent Points of Light Study found that, “Volunteering helps build a more cohesive, safer, stronger community.”

3. Volunteering lets you make a direct impact. Frustrated by what you hear on the news? Volunteer for a non-profit to make a difference. Volunteers often pick up what governments can’t provide, such as distributing free meals to the hungry.

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4. Volunteering can teach you new skills. Volunteering for a non-profit can teach you many different skills in a real-life setting. From leadership and data entry, to horticulture and animal husbandry, these are skills that would be difficult or expensive to learn in school.

5. Volunteering develops close relationships with others. People who come together to make the world better place forge close connections. In fact, volunteering is a wonderful family, workplace and couple’s activity.

6. Volunteering can help get you active. Want to get fit and improve your community? Consider volunteering for a community garden, animal shelter or state park.

7. Volunteering reduces stress. Volunteering takes our minds off our own problems and instead focuses on solving other problems, like food insecurity or saving endangered species. The result is a broader perspective and lower stress levels.

8. Volunteering is good for your career. Volunteering is a wonderful way to get real-world experience in your chosen field, make professional connections within your industry, and looks fantastic on a resume.

9. Volunteering boosts your mental health. One of the best reasons to volunteer for a non-profit is its effect on your mental well-being. Studies show that people who volunteer report feeling happier and less anxious than their peers.

10. Volunteering can help you live longer. According to recent research, seniors who continue to volunteer in their golden years are healthier and live longer than their peers. The reason: volunteering gives us a sense of purpose – a reason to get up and out the door in the morning