September is in full swing and as we celebrate the official first day of fall, we are reminded of that back to school feeling – a time where you reconnect with your classmates and make new friends, join new clubs and activities, and embark on a new school year and fresh beginnings.
New beginnings for you this fall might include focusing on your health and wellness and making new friends. Getting involved in volunteering can allow you to do both! A study done by UnitedHealth Group found that volunteering truly does make you feel better; “There are many paths to good health, but regardless of which we take, volunteering can help us. We now know people who volunteer feel better—physically, mentally and emotionally better. Volunteers tell us that they are convinced their health is better because of the things they do when they volunteer. People who volunteer manage their stress better and feel a stronger connection to their communities.”
**See the full report here: Doing Good Is Good For You, 2013 Health & Volunteering Study
One great opportunity to connect with new people, just like starting a new class in school, is to join the Boston Cares TeamWorks program. The Boston Cares TeamWorks Program is focused on facilitating the shift from casual volunteering to intentional citizenship by including a service-learning component and allowing you to participate in multiple projects with the same group of individuals.
Each TeamWorks session provides specialized volunteer opportunities around a theme or impact area and with some of our most popular non-profit partner sites. As a TeamWorks volunteer, you will join a team of 6-10 other individual volunteers and serve together over 6-8 weeks. This gives you an opportunity to build your volunteer community and delve deeper into your projects. Each team includes one session in which the team selects a service-learning activity to participate in together- perhaps there is a book you always wanted to read and discuss with a group, a special podcast or film you have wanted to watch, and a new coffee shop you have wanted to explore. Based on your team’s theme, you may be able to incorporate this into your session.
Serving meals to individuals who have come into homelessness, harvesting food and tending to local parks and green spaces, sorting donations for families and children in need, while forming new connections with like-minded individuals on your team are a great way to try something new this fall that is good for you in more ways than one!