Hands together It might be tough to recall, but when you were younger, you were almost always in need of someone else’s help. The person you are today is the result of a lot of people – family, friends, teachers, neighbors and more – who’ve helped you along the way.
Everyone could use a helping hand at some point (or many) in their lives. Maybe it’s a parent who is busy taking care of work or a younger sibling who could use your help in the kitchen. Or perhaps elderly neighbors who would appreciate you weeding their garden. It could even be someone you just met, like a busy checkout clerk who might instantly brighten up after hearing your helpful, encouraging words.
No matter how or who you help, know that even seemingly small acts of assistance can instantly make a positive difference to someone else. It can also provide several benefits to you.
For example, researchers have found that helping others makes us happier. In a five-year study of 2,000 people, those who said they’re “very happy” volunteered at least 5.8 hours a month. When we help others, studies show our brains release hormones that boost our moods and reduce stress hormones.
Among teens, one study found that those who help others did better in subjects like reading, math and science, and are more likely to finish high school. Colleges and scholarship selection committees love to see applications from students who’ve volunteered to help others.
Helping others can also boost your job-hunting success. Job applicants who listed volunteer service on their resume increased their chances of getting a job by 27%, according to a national study.
To help you decide how to help, ask yourself:
  • What am I most interested in? The more interested you are in the help you’re providing, the more likely it’ll be enjoyable for all.
  • Who would I like to help? For example, you might prefer helping kids, such as those in youth sports.
  • What knowledge or skills can I offer? If you have specific skills, like knowing how to fix things, that may be a specific helping opportunity.
  • How much time do I have? Even a couple of hours of help may prove immensely beneficial to someone in need.
  • What are my goals? Helping others should be a two-way street, potentially allowing you to learn new things and even meet new people!
As a Dinero member, know you’re part of an organization that is wholly supportive of your efforts to help others. Each Advancial employee receives 16 hours of paid time annually to provide volunteer help in their communities, so don’t be surprised when you’re out helping others if you meet someone from Advancial doing the same thing!