#GiveHappyLiveHappy – National Volunteer Week 2016
The theme of National Volunteer Week 2016 Give Happy Live Happy celebrates the benefits for individuals who volunteer. National Volunteer Week which runs from 9- 15 May 2016 gives us a chance to thank Australia’s 5.8 million volunteers who contribute over 743 million hours of their time to strengthen and build our communities each year.
Giving is one of the best predictors of health, meaningful happiness and resilience, according to giving expert and advocate Dr Thomas Nielson of the University of Canberra. He has found that giving and volunteering are even better predictors of health and wellbeing than exercising four times per week.
The power of volunteering to enhance communities and build resilience and social cohesion is also well understood.
Recent research on Giving and volunteering in multicultural and Indigenous communities commissioned by the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership also shows that engaging in volunteering has personal benefits as well as benefits for their community.
“My daughter asked me one day ‘Mum you are doing so many things, who are you actually working for? […] Who?’ This is for here (points to her heart).” – Tibetan research Participant
As Partnership member Kevin Bailey commented.
“I think it was Mark Twain who once said, ‘the two most important days in your life are; the day you were born, and the day you worked out why.’ I think giving and volunteering are part of the ‘why’.”