World Smile Day is a fantastic opportunity for everyone around the world to use the universal language of happiness – a smile. To help celebrate World Smile Day, we would like to share one of our investments – Our Plymouth – an amazing online portal that helps citizens find ways to volunteer and truly connect with their community.
World smile day – a brief history
As is well known by now, Harvey Ball, a commercial artist from Worcester, Massachusetts created the smiley face in 1963. This image went on to become the most recognizable symbol of goodwill and happiness on the planet. As the years passed, Harvey Ball became concerned with the over-commercialisation of his symbol, and how its original meaning and intent had become lost in the constant repetition of its use. Out of that concern came his idea for World Smile Day®. He thought that we, all of us, should devote one day each year to smiling and kind acts throughout the world. The smiley face knows no politics, no geography, and no religion. Harvey’s idea was that, for at least one day each year, neither should we. He declared that the first Friday in October each year would henceforth be World Smile Day®.
Our Plymouth is a Plymouth based organisation with a mission to develop a single digital platform that is used as a powerful tool to connect, communicate, collaborate, inspire and recognise citizen and community action. The platform was first created to help recruit volunteers for a range of different volunteering opportunities within the city. On Our Plymouth’s website, you can register as a volunteer, search for volunteer opportunities as a citizen and post volunteer opportunities as a community organisation. It is very easy to use. Down below we’ve listed some reasons why you should consider volunteering and the benefits this can have.
The benefits of volunteering
#1 Volunteering is a way to bring fulfillment and happiness to your life
Contributing to volunteer opportunities that you find meaningful and engaging can be the perfect escape from your daily routine at work, school, or family commitments. It can be the most rewarding, valuable, and healthy way to explore your hobbies or learn something new that you’ve always wanted to. Volunteering has an almost instant happiness effect of give-and-receive.
#2 Volunteering is a great way to keep your mind and body healthy
Several kinds of research have proven that volunteering can provide a healthy uplift to people’s self-confidence, self-esteem, and life satisfaction. To do something good for others, and the community, provides a natural sense of accomplishment, pride, and identity. Volunteering also reduces the risk of depression. This is because volunteering avoids social isolation and keeps people in constant contact with other people – or even pets and other animals. This all helps to ensure crippling disorders such as depression, anxiety and stress are kept at bay.
#3 Volunteering can help you to learn new skills and gain knowledge in something you like
Volunteering is not just about helping others, but also yourself, especially if you are looking to gain further experience in a certain field or looking to learn new, valuable skills. Many of the transferable skills you learn from volunteering can also excel you above the competition from a potential employer’s perspective and really help to enhance your CV. It is the perfect way to help your future self and your career whilst making a positive impact within the community.
#4 Volunteering connects you to people and enlightens a sense of empathy.
One of the best rewards from volunteering is the connection you create with other people and communities that you would otherwise not have a chance to connect with. Learning, listening, and helping people from differing backgrounds really encourages the community to grow and become far stronger. Whilst you learn, connect, and help others, your network and friendships grow.
“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much”
Volunteering is contagious – you grow yourself whilst making an incredibly positive impact within your community. Why not try today, on World Smile Day, to give volunteering a go. https://ourplymouth.co.uk/
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