Nicole Sibilski

What if you were told that there was a way to look and feel younger, make friends and live longer? That there was an amazing method that has been proven to make you smarter, less stressed and all around happier? That, just by doing this simple thing one day a week, you can change your life immediately?

Oh, and even better — it’s absolutely free. It’s called volunteering.

Yes, volunteering — the simple act of taking time to assist a non-profit or another person in their mission — can do wonders for your life. The health benefits of volunteering are undeniable. According to a 2017 study from the Mayo Clinic, there are six identifiable health benefits directly related to volunteering, including:

  • A significant decrease in the risk of depression;
  • Giving a person a sense of purpose while teaching them a valuable skill;
  • Helping people stay mentally and physically active;
  • Significantly reduced stress levels;
  • Increased life span; and
  • The development of new healthy relationships.

In 2018, Franklin Tomorrow, a community visioning non-profit located in Franklin, took a survey of local residents through an innovative event called On the Table, where citizens gathered for meals and discussed ideas, interests, and concerns for their community. More than 95% of people responded that they felt a deep attachment to Franklin and Williamson County, but 25% had no idea how they could get involved and help others in their community.

Finding meaningful volunteer opportunities is now easier than ever. Franklin Tomorrow has collaborated with Hands on Nashville to develop an online volunteer board with postings for an array of exciting volunteer opportunities. Simply go to https://franklintomorrow.org/getengaged/ and search by location, skill set, or mission. A brief search of opportunities includes some amazing activities, including providing childcare at monthly foster parent meeting, assisting at blind bowling nights and cheering for people with special needs at their swim team events!

Also, don’t forget that volunteering is good for business: A 2017 Deloitte Volunteerism survey found that companies that give their employees paid time off to volunteer had higher levels of company morale, reported a healthier work environment and contributed to an overall higher sense of well-being for employees. All this leads to higher retention of staff, effectively lowering business costs. Giving employees the freedom to volunteer doesn’t just make them happier; it positively affects the bottom line.

So resolve to get involved in 2020. Pick a mission or a non-profit and find out how you can help. It’s cheaper and more effective than any diet, workout, or night cream, and most importantly, it’s makes our community an even better place to call home.

Don’t forget to go to https://franklintomorrow.org/getengaged/ and sign up for a volunteer opportunity today.

Nicole Sibilski, GPC, is a nationally recognized certified grant writer and fundraising consultant for non profits and businesses. A resident of Franklin, she works extensively in Williamson County to help local agencies increase their revenue and impact in the community.

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