6 Reasons Why You Should Volunteer in Cape Cod for Your New Years Resolution
With the New Year approaching, we know a lot of you are looking for ways to better yourself. So before you make the typical “Lose weight” and “Eat Healthy” resolutions, we wanted to make a case for volunteering; specifically on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard. Many think of the Cape and the Islands as a summer paradise, but those who live here year round know how truly vulnerable our communities are. Volunteers are integral to the efforts of local organizations to help youth facing adversity and to strengthen the communities of Cape Cod and the Islands. Specifically, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cape Cod & the Islands relies on our adult volunteers to serve as Big Brothers and Big Sisters, providing youth on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard with reliable, supportive, and positive adult mentors. Here are 6 Reasons Why You Should Make Volunteering on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard Your New Years Resolution.
1) Volunteering is good for your health!
On average, those who volunteer report being happier, healthier, and less stressed than their non-volunteering peers (source: A national survey of 3,351 adults conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of UnitedHealth Group). Volunteering can lead to more fulfillment in life and increased productivity at work, because those who feel good do good.
2) Volunteering strengthens communities
At BBBSCCI, we invest in our community’s future by providing the volunteers and children enrolled in our program with an enriching, meaningful mentor/mentee relationship. Mentoring has been proven to help students stay in school long enough to earn a diploma, and to succeed both professionally and personally beyond graduation. Big Brothers Big Sisters is also a great volunteer opportunity for the Cape’s large population of retired or part-time workers. At least 40% of current Bigs are over the age of 55. The minimum age requirement to volunteer is 18, but there is no maximum. You’re never too old to be a Big! We recognize that older volunteers bring a level of maturity and life experience that can be extremely beneficial for a child to gain exposure to. But the benefits of mentoring stretch beyond just the Big and Little. To learn more, see Mass Mentoring Partnership’s 20 Ways Communities Grow With Mentoring.
3) Volunteering can help you get inspired
Maybe you’re looking to break up your daily routine, to explore a new passion, or even to consider a career change. Volunteering is a great avenue for gaining new experiences and skills, or test-driving a new field. If you’ve ever wondered what it may be like to work in non-profit, education, community development, or human services, then volunteering is a great way to get your foot in the door.
4) Our communities are in need
Barnstable County has the highest juvenile crime rate in Massachusetts. In the past five years, the Cape & Islands has seen a 65% increase in families living at or below the poverty level—the highest increase in the state. Additionally, there are more than 2800 children between the ages of 7 and 12 living in single parent, under-resourced households on Cape Cod and the Islands. There are currently 210 children on the Cape and Martha’s Vineyard who have a Big Brother or Big Sister. Currently, 30 boys and girls are on the waiting list to be matched, with at least 25 additional children in the inquiry process. Committing to just a few hours a couple of times a month as a Big Brother or Big Sister can make a world of different to a young boy or girl.
5) Volunteering can increase your professional skills and marketability
Volunteering allows you to explore your passions, gain new skills and experiences, expand your professional network, and build your resume—all while having a positive impact on your community! Many skills that individuals gain while volunteering are transferable to their work lives, including communication, problem-solving, project management, organization, and leadership.
6) Learn more about all of the great things that Cape Cod has to offer
Volunteering offers the chance to see Cape Cod through a different lens, and gain a new perspective on the place you call home. When is the last time you visited Heritage Gardens to see the lights, or explored the exhibits at the Cape Cod Natural History Museum? As a Big Brother or Big Sister, you’ll have the opportunity to visit the Cape and Islands’ best spots, ones that you may never think to visit alone, or that you haven’t visited since you were a kid. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cape Cod & the Islands helps matches find fun, no-cost or low-cost activities to do together. We publish a monthly calendar with community activities, and offer discounted or free admission to local attractions. BBBSCCI has partnerships with many local businesses and organizations including Zia’s Pizzeria, Cape Cod Maritime Museum,The Hot Chocolate Sparrow, Tony Kent Arena, and many more!