SHARE Omaha and The Wellbeing Partners are seeking to increase awareness of mental health and the well-being benefits of volunteerism. In highlighting the positive outcomes of giving time to local nonprofits, the organizations hope to welcome new volunteers and hear stories of how doing good has benefited volunteers personally.
CEO of The Wellbeing Partners Aja Anderson said, “We are all seeking tools to reduce stress and improve our health. Volunteering can be a great way to get physical benefits from the serotonin, endorphins, and dopamine you release when helping others, while also making a difference for a cause that matters to you.”
Anderson went on to share that according to research published May 30 in JAMA Network Open, youth who volunteer their time are approximately 25% less likely to have anxiety than those who do not. Teresa Mardesen, executive director of SHARE Omaha, pointed to over 100 opportunities for kids aged 5-17 years old currently available at SHAREomaha.org as ways for young people to engage in volunteerism in addition to adults.
Research shows that volunteers will receive as much as they give. One study from Unity Health Group reported that over 75% of people who volunteered in the past 12 months said they felt healthier. A quarter of respondents stated giving their time helped them manage a chronic illness and a vast majority, 94%, said their mood improved.
The Wellbeing Partners encourages volunteers to submit their stories of how the service benefits their mental health at whatmakesus.com. WhatMakesUs is a collection of testimonials from community members living with mental health conditions and their allies, with over 190 stories to date.
Businesses, families, individuals, and organizations across the metro can access the SHARE Omaha and SHARE Iowa platforms any day of the year to find much-needed volunteer opportunities, give financial help, discover upcoming events, or buy wish list items for 700+ nonprofit organizations. Together, we can harness the power of all with all gifts and all ways of doing good to not only help our community but to also benefit personal mental health and well-being.
Additional resources about wellbeing and volunteerism can be found at SHAREomaha.org/wellbeing.
About SHARE Omaha: SHARE Omaha was created by local philanthropists to help area nonprofits primarily in Dodge, Douglas, Sarpy, Saunders or Washington counties fulfill their missions by recruiting donors to share money, material goods and time. Over 700 metro nonprofits are registered on the SHARE Omaha platform. A one-stop donation platform, SHARE Omaha does not charge any fees to nonprofits and does not keep any portion of what is donated. The SHARE Omaha platform is available 365 days a year so everyone can do good every day at SHAREomaha.org.
About The Wellbeing Partners: The Wellbeing Partners mission is to build wellbeing into the way our communities and businesses grow through advocacy, collaboration, and education. Relying on expertise in worksite wellness and community health, we bridge the good work between worksite wellness initiatives and community health collaboration for the greatest impact in our community. Based on public health and workplace wellness evidence, applied community practice, and partner and resident feedback, The Wellbeing Partners combines the eight dimensions of wellness with the social determinants of health to shape our work.