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Column: I resolve to volunteer in the New Year ...

1:00 PM, Jan. 2, 2013  |  Comments
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As we usher in the New Year, it's common practice to resolve to improve something in our lives. You might resolve to eat right and exercise more, maybe to budget better or pay off debt, or just to watch less TV and read more books.

The United Way of Portage County Volunteer Center encourages you to consider service to others on your list of New Year's resolutions: resolve to volunteer! You'll find several organizations right here in Portage County that are deserving of your time and talents. Many of these nonprofits depend on the dedication and hard work of volunteers to help them achieve their missions - they cannot do it alone.

Whether you're walking dogs at the Humane Society, tutoring an adult learner in English for the Literacy Council or helping with clean up at the Portage County Cultural Festival, you'll be making a difference in the lives of those in our community.

When you volunteer, not only do you have an impact on the organization at which you serve, you impact your own life as well. The feelings of pride, satisfaction or accomplishment you might feel or the networking and social interactions are certainly great benefits of volunteering, but perhaps the most important benefit is the effect on your health. According to a report from the Corporation for National and Community Service, studies have shown that there is a very strong correlation between volunteering and health. Those who volunteer regularly have lower mortality rates, greater functional abilities and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer.

If you are already a volunteer in our community, thank you! If you've never volunteered, why not give it a try? For a list of volunteer opportunities and organizations in need, go to the Volunteer Center's website at VOLUNTEERSROCK.ORG. If you have questions or require one-on-one assistance, call me at 715-254-2192 or email krombalski@unitedwaypoco.org.

Kayla Rombalski is director of the Volunteer Center.

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If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports