Kindness WORKS: The Benefits of Volunteering

Watching the Golden Globe Awards, I was struck by the indomitable Meryl Streep as she accepted the Cecil B. Demille Award from the Hollywood Foreign Press. Her words remain powerful.


“Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.”


She is right, we all do lose. So the question is how do we all win?

We win when we support each other. Support invites support. We win when we commit to being part of a greater good. Commitment invites commitment. And we win when we spread the love. Love invites love. The positive power is generated in elevating each other, in our communities, in our schools, and in our neighborhoods. When we elevate each other we build strength and unity, and a powerful belief system that says we can make a difference in each other’s lives. All of this can be accomplished through service, volunteering! Service invites service; it is what we can all do that allows us to all win together.
Doing something for others is like a shot of B12 to the soul; it nourishes the spirit. Study after study shows the positive benefits of volunteering. Interesting findings include:

  • The London School of Economics found that the more people volunteered, the happier they were;
  • Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University discovered that volunteering lowers blood pressure and stress; and, 
  • The Wharton School professor Cassie Mogilner discovered that those who volunteer their time feel like they have more of it. Yes, they actually feel they have MORE time. 

Happier, healthier, more time? SIGN ME UP! Because respect invites respect, togetherness invites unity, and planting seeds of kindness invites a garden of ideas to grow. 

The true benefit of volunteering is impacting the lives of those who live in our communities. During last year’s Generation WORKS, our annual day of service led by women and girls for the benefit of all, we saw first hand how the efforts of a few can directly benefit the lives of others.

We want you to be there on Saturday, February 4th as we kick off Generation WORKS at Unity Plaza. You can wire, weld, wash, and work your magic with over 500 other community members to transform Jacksonville for the greater good. We are thrilled to have Molly Curry as one of our Honorary Chairs. Take a look at the agencies and projects we are supporting around town then get yourself registered at

Will you join me in keeping this optimistic feeling going throughout the year? We can do a lot if we commit to doing it together.



by Donna Orender