The United Way of the Midlands, as part of National Volunteer Month, is thanking its volunteers and reminding others of the benefits of giving their time to their community.
Volunteering can have a positive effect on physical and mental health, according to a Carnegie Mellon report from 2013. Those who volunteer reported improved moods, lower stress levels and improved self-esteem. The study also found that adults older than 50 who volunteered on a regular basis were less likely to develop high blood pressure.
Last year, nearly 3,500 local volunteers invested more than 51,000 hours of service in the Omaha-Council Bluffs area. The Corporation for National and Community Service reports that the metro area ranks 15th among midsize American cities for the number of residents who volunteer their time.
The United Way of the Midlands has scheduled events to promote volunteerism and increase awareness of community need:
» Day of Action on June 21: Focusing on child literacy, volunteers read to children 6 to 8 years old.
» Day of Caring on Sept. 21: Individuals and teams can help on a variety of service projects, including organizing, cleaning and painting at local nonprofit sites and working with students on homework and job-interviewing skills.
» Holiday Helpers in November and December: Individuals and teams can sign up for holiday projects to help those in need.
More information about volunteer opportunities in the community can be found at https://uwmidlands.galaxydigital.com/need/ or by calling the United Way of the Midlands’ engagement director at 402-522-7949.