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MLK Day of Service and Benefits of Volunteering

On Monday, January 20th, we celebrate not only Martin Luther King Jr. Day but also the official MLK Day of Service, a day to honor the legacy of Dr. King by moving us closer to his vision of creating a “Beloved Community” through Americans taking community action to help solve our nation’s social issues.

The Catalogue for Philanthropy’s community of charities has a number of opportunities for volunteers to participate in MLK Day of Service. We encourage you to take a look at what they have to offer, and keep us posted on social media how you decide to turn your “day off” into a “day on” by helping your community.

It’s widely known that volunteering has many intangible benefits such as a sense of belonging and achievement, but did you know that volunteering can also benefit you in other ways, too? The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) research suggests that volunteering can have a significant positive impact on employment prospects. For example, volunteers have a 27 percent higher likelihood of finding a job after being out of work than non-volunteers. Much of this can be attributed to the fact that volunteering can help build up the critical elements needed for success in the workplace: socialization (networking) and skill-building (including both soft skills such as time management or teamwork, and professional job skills).

In addition to employment benefits, volunteering is good for your health! A recent survey from UnitedHealth Group and Harris Interactive reports that volunteers have lower stress, better physical, mental and emotional health, and feel more connected to their communities. Another, more unique, perk is that volunteers tend to be more informed healthcare consumers as well, and therefore are more proactive in managing their own health.

So, on this MLK Day of Service, gather your family, friends or colleagues, and join a Catalogue charity to help create a “beloved community.” Whether you are an experienced volunteer or new to service, we can all benefit in unique and substantial ways when we come together as a community.

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