There’s some important news for people who have a calling to volunteer their time. According to a new report, workers who volunteer their time or finances have higher mental health and optimism scores than those who do not volunteer or donate.

The report is authored by Telus Health and coordinated by lead author Paula Allen.

In an interview with Global Winnipeg, Allen said that the report merely confirms what many of us already know: that volunteering your time gives a sense of connection, and therefore improves your mental well-being.

“We know that when we have a sense of not interacting with other people in a meaningful way, we have that feeling of isolation,” she said.

According to the report, three in five workers volunteered their time or donated money in the last two years – and they had the highest mental health and optimism scores.

The report also showed that just over 30 percent of employers offer time off for volunteering, an important initiative that benefits both the employer and employee.

“I do think employers should pay attention to the fact that this is a strong factor, and having your employees view you positively, and for many reasons how they even show up on social media, in addition to attraction, retention, and satisfaction, all correlate with a positive perception,” Allen said.

“Sometimes they get groups of employees together which is fabulous because you get that sense of socializing while doing good for the community as well.”

Here at Siloam Mission, we see groups of volunteers all the time, and we are thrilled to see them. However, volunteering in Manitoba has not yet returned to the level it was before the pandemic.

“The need has certainly increased for services, but a lot of organizations don’t have capacity to meet that demand due to the need for volunteers,” said Ashley Seymour, executive director of Volunteer Manitoba. “So ultimately, that results in reduced services for folks that need those services which is very unfortunate.”

If you are interested in volunteering at Siloam Mission, there’s now proof that it will make you happy – and we would be happy to have you!

There are still plenty of summer kitchen shifts available, plus a number of other areas around Siloam that need volunteers as well. We also accept food donations, clothing donations and just about anything you can think of to donate. It all goes to helping the community we serve as part of our vision to end chronic homelessness in Winnipeg.

Siloam Mission has posted this story for the information and education of our supporters, staff and volunteers. Highlighting important stories that offer solutions to help tackle the challenges of ending chronic homelessness is an important part of our core mission. Elements of this story were first reported by Global News Winnipeg.