While talking with Ruth Colvin, co-founder of ProLiteracy, she has said volunteering will “change your life as well as change the life of a student.” Besides the fact that volunteer tutors have the ability to better the lives of students, their families, and have the satisfaction of knowing that they improved their community, how else does volunteering benefit someone?
According to the American Psychological Association, volunteering might increase your lifespan. “People who volunteer may live longer than those who don't, as long as their reasons for volunteering are to help others rather than themselves."
Most agree that a healthy social life, regularly taking on mental challenges, and finding happiness are all keys to a long and healthy life. It is no coincidence that volunteer tutoring is correlated with all three of these aspects.
Surrounding yourself with good-hearted people.
Tutoring gives you the chance to join a community of people with similar values. These relationships are all built on the foundation of helping others and giving back to the community. It also gives you the chance to interact with those in need and see firsthand how you are helping them and their families. Children with parents at the lowest literacy levels have a 72% chance of being at the lowest levels themselves. By helping parents to read, you are helping them raise families that can read.
Taking on mental challenges.
Participating in mentally stimulating tasks, like tutoring, is not only helpful for your students, it actually helps your brain stay in “tip-top shape.” Harvard Health Publishing says there are four effective strategies for increasing brain health: being a lifelong learner, getting out of your comfort zone by taking on new challenges, doing activities that make you see the world differently, and volunteering in a social setting.
Finding happiness in what you do.
Giving your time to tutor someone in need is a gratifying experience. “Watching another person grow is incredibly rewarding. I really enjoy working with people who want to change their lives,” said Marianne Heyden, a volunteer tutor at People’s Resource Center. “Volunteering has taught me the immense satisfaction of giving your time and seeing a result.” A purposeful job and acts of kindness are two important factors that have to do with being happy and living a fulfilling life. Fortunately for volunteers, all two of these are found within a volunteer's vocation.
Although there is no fountain of youth, being a volunteer tutor can help. It helps give you happiness and fulfillment, it improves the health of your brain, and it can even lower your blood pressure. Do you need more proof? Just see what Ruth’s thoughts are on volunteering!