Benefits of Volunteering
With busy lives, it can be hard to find time to volunteer. However, the benefits of volunteering are enormous to you, your family, and your community.
Become connected to other people
- Volunteering allows people to interact more, meet new people, and expand their network. When you volunteer, not only does it make your ties to the community stronger, you also meet people who share your interests and gain a wider support group.
Beneficial to a person’s mental health
- By being a volunteer, you increase your self-confidence, self-esteem, and even develop a more positive outlook on life. Because you are doing something good for the community, you feel a sense of accomplishment and take pride in what you’ve done.
Beneficial to a person’s physical health
- Volunteering allows you to be constantly going about, keeps you busy, and highly active. In some cases, volunteering was able to aid in reducing the symptoms of some illnesses such as chronic pain and heart disease.
Other benefits of volunteering
- Working as a volunteer can aid in the advancement of your career through experience and development of skills. Volunteering allows you to develop and practice skills often utilized in the workplace such as planning projects, problem solving, critical thinking, time management, organization, communication, and teamwork. Those who want to enter a new career can use volunteering to enable them to gain experience in the field as well as meet people whom he or she may likely end up working with.
Benefits of Therapeutic Riding
Throughout the world, horseback riding is considered a uniquely beneficial form of therapy. Therapeutic riding, which originated in Europe, has been actively helping individuals with special needs since the 1950’s. Therapeutic riding uses equine-oriented activities for the purpose of contributing positively to the cognitive, physical, emotional, and social well-being of people with special needs and emotional issues.
Equestrian therapy requires the participant to address issues such as communication, trust, honesty, accountability, responsibility, patience, relationships, self-respect, respect for others, self-confidence, anger, and social skills. Interacting with a horse challenges issues of fear and self-confidence. In order to mount a horse the rider must first overcome their fear and learn to trust both their volunteers and horse. Learning to work with horses builds self-confidence and raises self-esteem. Participants learn to work through fear, set goals, and achieve those goals.
Persons with special needs benefit physically and emotionally from therapeutic riding activities. Horseback activities encourage stretching and strengthening of underused or underdeveloped muscles, improve posture and coordination, help develop gross and fine motor skills, increase the riders’ awareness of their body in space, and improve their range of motion. In addition, riders with disabilities increase their self-esteem and self-confidence, learn problem solving skills, and increase their ability to focus and stay on task. All of this while they are having fun!
- Stretching of tight or spastic muscles
- Decreased spasticity
- Increased range of motion of the joints
- Reduction of abnormal movement patterns
- Improved respiration and circulation
- Improved appetite and digestion
- Sensory integration.
- Improved self-confidence
- Increased interest in the outside world
- Increased interest in one’s own life
- Development of patience
- Emotional control and self-discipline
- Sense of normality
- Expansion of the focus of control
- Increased experiences
- Remedial Reading
- Remedial Math
- Sequencing, patterning and motor planning
- Improved eye-hand coordination
- Visual spatial perception