On Monday, March 14, 2016 from 4 pm – 7 pm the Islip Public Library will host our first ever Volunteer Fair in the library’s community room. Many local volunteer organizations will be in attendance so please join us! No registration required.
If you are an organization and would like a table at our volunteer fair, you must complete an application. Please come into the Library and ask at the Adult Reference Desk, contact us by mail with information about your organization, or complete the application online now.
Social, Health, and Career Benefits of Volunteering:
- Volunteering helps you make new friends and contacts: One of the best ways to make new friends and strengthen existing relationships is to commit to a shared activity together. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, especially if you are new to an area. Volunteering also strengthens your ties to the community and broadens your support network, exposing you to people with common interests, neighborhood resources, and fun and fulfilling activities.
- Volunteering increases your social and relationship skills: While some people are naturally outgoing, others are shy and have a hard time meeting new people. Volunteering gives you the opportunity to practice and develop your social skills, since you are meeting regularly with a group of people with common interests. Once you have momentum, it’s easier to branch out and make more friends and contacts.
- Volunteering increases self-confidence: Volunteering can provide a healthy boost to your self-confidence, self-esteem, and life satisfaction. You are doing good for others and the community, which provides a natural sense of accomplishment. Your role as a volunteer can also give you a sense of pride and identity. And the better you feel about yourself, the more likely you are to have a positive view of your life and future goals.
- Volunteering provides a sense of purpose: Older adults, especially those who have retired or lost a spouse, can find new meaning and purpose in their lives by helping others. Whatever your age or life situation, volunteering can help take your mind off your own worries, keep you mentally stimulated, and add more zest to your life.
- Volunteering combats depression: A key risk factor for depression is social isolation. Volunteering keeps you in regular contact with others and helps you develop a solid support system, which in turn protects you against stress and depression when you’re going through challenging times. Working with pets and other animals has also been shown to improve mood and reduce stress and anxiety.
- Volunteering helps you stay physically healthy: The physical activity involved in certain forms of volunteering—such as environmental projects in parks, nature reserves, or beaches—can be good for your health at any age, but it’s especially beneficial in older adults. Studies have found that those who volunteer have a lower mortality rate than those who do not, even when considering factors like the health of the participants. Volunteering has also been shown to lessen symptoms of chronic pain or heart disease.
- Volunteering can provide career experience: Volunteering offers you the chance to try out a new career without making a long-term commitment. It is also a great way to gain experience in a new field. In some fields, you can volunteer directly at an organization that does the kind of work you’re interested in. Your volunteer work might also expose you to professional organizations or internships that could be of benefit to your career.
- Volunteering can teach you valuable job skills: Just because volunteer work is unpaid does not mean the skills you learn are basic. Many volunteer opportunities provide extensive training. Volunteering can also help you build upon skills you already have and use them to benefit the greater community.