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NH Group Encourages Giving Back this National Volunteer Week

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Wednesday, April 20, 2022   

It's National Volunteer Week, and groups are spotlighting some of the benefits of volunteering, both for individuals and the communities they serve.

The COVID-19 crisis affected all aspects of everyday life, including most people's ability to volunteer. But since the early days of the pandemic, when in-person volunteering ground to a halt, it has rebounded significantly.

Gretchen Stallings, executive director of Volunteer New Hampshire, said a big reason many folks choose to volunteer is because they like giving back to their community.

"If you're not sure where or how you want to give back, start with your passion," she said. "Is there a problem in your community that you'd like to see solved, or a cause that you feel strongly about?"

Research from the Mayo Clinic Health System has found volunteering also can provide a sense of purpose, teach new skills and help build and nurture relationships, as well as lower rates of depression and anxiety, especially for people in retirement.

Volunteer New Hampshire was created by the Legislature to help connect individuals with businesses, nonprofits and governments for volunteer opportunities. Stallings noted that the New Hampshire State House alone has more than 400 volunteer positions.

"It really does take everyone to create the most optimal living conditions in a community," she said. "Volunteering may enable you to awaken dormant skills, or practice a hobby in a more meaningful way."

She said their website, volunteernh.org, includes a Volunteer Resource Center and an online database called Get Connected, where nonprofits advertise their volunteer offerings and individuals can find the right fit for them.


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