December 5th is International Volunteers Day. Almost 15 million people volunteer in Canada. The rate of volunteers is growing faster than our population! Volunteering not only helps the lives of others, it also benefits your life. It can boost your self-confidence, decrease your risk of depression and help you to stay mentally and physically active. Happiness comes from sharing your time by helping others. It can also help you live longer.
Did you know?
- A small number of volunteers account for most of the volunteer hours. In Canada, 10% of the volunteers do more than 50% of the volunteering.
- Younger people are more likely to volunteer but account for a lesser amount of volunteer hours than older adults and seniors.
- The more educated you are, the more likely you are to volunteer.
- Those with lower incomes are less likely to volunteer than those with a higher income. However, people with lower incomes account for more volunteer hours than their better off counterparts.
- Surprisingly, most volunteers are also employed. Some of this could be due to the age of volunteers.
- If you are involved in community groups or activities when you are younger, you are more likely to volunteer when you are older.
- In Canada, more than 80% of the population volunteer directly rather than indirectly. This means that they may be helping others out by babysitting, providing housework or yard work for others. However they may be volunteering, it is unpaid and is provided to those who aren’t family or relatives.
International Volunteer Day is marked by many organizations, including the Red Cross. It highlights the efforts of many volunteers across the globe who have put hours toward helping others. Look around your community for those who need your help most.