With busy lives, it can be hard to find time to volunteer. However, the benefits of volunteering are enormous and can have a positive impact on individuals and their communities. Volunteering provides people with an outlet to reduce stress, an opportunity to make new friends, the ability to learn new skills and promotes a feeling of belonging. For many, volunteering can stimulate a happiness effect.

It’s a proven fact that volunteering can increase a person’s happiness. Volunteering even in simple ways can help others in need and provide the volunteer with self-satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment.

Volunteers make a positive impact on Fort Hood every day. Volunteers are involved with unit Family readiness groups, local food banks and shelters, the Fort Hood Area Thrift Shop, Fort Hood chapels, Fort Hood Spouses Club, Army Community Service, Child and Youth Services, youth programs and many more. These selfless contributions made by volunteers are irreplaceable and help to enhance the quality of life both on and off post.

 The benefits to volunteering are numerous. Volunteering allows individuals to connect with their community and make it a better place. Even helping out with the smallest tasks can make a real difference to the lives of people, animals and organizations in need. Volunteering is good for the mind and body. Through social contact, volunteering can counteract the effects of stress and anxiety. While volunteering is often an act of doing for others, the act of volunteering promotes a feeling of pleasure and accomplishment thus fueling the happiness effect. Individuals who volunteer can benefit from the skills learned or a skill enhanced.  Volunteering offers the chance to try out a new career without making a long-term commitment. It is also a great way to gain experience in a new field. Volunteering can be a fun and easy way to explore personal interests and passions. By performing volunteer work, individuals may find meaningful conduits for an energizing escape from the day-to-day routine of everyday life. It can provide a sense of renewed creativity, motivation and vision that can carry over into one’s personal and professional life.

Through volunteering, individuals will have a richer and more enjoyable experience if they first take some time to identify their goals and interests. Prospective volunteers should think about why they want to volunteer. What would they enjoy doing? The opportunities that match both their goals and interests are most likely to be fun and fulfilling. The Fort Hood Army Volunteer Corps is the proponent office for volunteer service and can help a volunteer explore many volunteer options that are available both on and off the installation.

For more information on volunteering and fulfilling your happiness effect, contact the ACS, Army Volunteer Corps at 287-8657 or by email at usarmy.hood.imcom-fmwrc.list.AVC@mail.mil.