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9 Ways To Boost Society’s Mental Wellness

In a world where war, economic woes, crime, and other negative forces seem to be on the upswing, some choose to do good deeds, random acts of kindness, and general self-esteem building activities to go against the flow and make themselves feel better in the process. Maybe it’s a form of alternative therapy or just a human urge to make life better for others. Regardless, the bottom line is that people are happier when they assist the less fortunate. Plus, the recipients of good works end up in a slightly better position after they receive any kind of assistance. The question for so many busy adults is, “What can I do?” No matter where you live or what types of skills you have, consider the following suggestions for boosting society’s collective mental health.

Teach English to Non-Native Speakers

Hundreds of social service agencies in cities all over the US are in desperate need of volunteer instructors for ESL (English as a Second Language) classes. The training is free, and most organizations ask for an informal commitment that new teachers work one or two days per week for about six consecutive months. There are no legal obligations or pay, but the work is rewarding. Those who complete one or more terms as ESL instructors usually continue for several years. For new immigrants and long-time US residents who want to learn English, having a dedicated teacher is a great start on the road to a better job and lifestyle.

Help a Student Afford College

When you decide to become a student loan cosigner, you can change a young person’s life in a profound way. Remember that most teens who are ready to attend college don’t have a credit or financial history of any kind. They might qualify for some federally guaranteed financing, but those programs have caps that can stop a student short of getting enough Money to cover a four-year degree program. When they apply for private loans to pick up the slack, financial institutions tend to turn them down for lack of credit. That’s where cosigners come into the picture. By adding your name to the application as a cosigner, you can instantly increase the likelihood that the applicant gets the funding they need to cover all their college-related expenses. Most cosigners are parents of student loan applicants, but any working adult can help a youngster who needs another signature on a private loan application.

Do Highway Litter Patrol

Every major and medium-sized city, as well as some state organizations, sponsor roadway and Highway Litter pickup. The service has been active for decades, ever since First Lady “Lady Bird” Johnson initiated a “Keep America Beautiful” campaign. If you care how your community looks and aren’t afraid to do some light labor on weekend mornings, join a cleanup team and become part of the solution. You won’t learn any advanced IT skills, earn money, or make new friends, but the work has its own sense of reward for solitary types who enjoy the idea of supporting their communities.

Adopt a Local Charity

It can be interesting and fun to adopt a charity. Take time to research local organizations that need money, volunteers, food, toys, etc. Making a direct connection with a charitable organization can boost your own mental wellbeing and help others at the same time. The options are virtually endless. They include churches, synagogues, food banks, homeless shelters, remedial reading groups, neighborhood clinics,

Do Free Lawn Maintenance

Identify a few elderly or disabled individuals in your neighborhood and offer to do no charge lawn work for them. Some older adults pay high rates for landscaping services for mowing, hedge trimming, and leaf removal. Save them the expense by donating an hour or two of your time on alternate weekends. Besides, walking is beneficial to your health as well, so this is a two for one act of service. If you’re unsure of whom to approach or are new in the area, speak with a pastor or rabbi and ask if anyone needs that kind of assistance, or you can contact the nearest social service agency and get information from one of their representatives.

Build Houses for the Needy

There are several national and international organizations that put work teams together and construct basic homes for needy families and couples. President Jimmy Carter worked for one of them as a volunteer builder. You don’t need to have any formal construction training, but it does help to own a set of tools and have transportation to the work sites. On international projects in Mexico and elsewhere, some organizations cover the cost of airfare and living expenses during week-long or longer stays.

Donate Blood & Plasma

There’s always a need for human plasma and whole blood. Call any hospital and ask how and where to donate. Large metro areas have dozens of donation spots in clinics, healthcare offices, and freestanding collection centers. While there is a well-developed fee-based plasma market, anyone can decline to accept the payment and give their plasma for free. Blood donors can usually get free medical screening exams on their first visit.

Prepare Taxes for Low-Income Families

If you can take and pass an online income tax preparation class that lasts about two weeks, consider helping low-income adults and families at tax time. A large percentage of the working poor can receive sizeable refunds, but many don’t know the laws and fail to file returns at all. By assisting them with the forms and filing process, you help them get any money that’s coming to them in the form of a tax refund check. That money can make a huge difference in their lives.

Transport Elderly Patients to Doctor Visits

Sign up with a local cancer treatment center as a volunteer driver. After a background check and a few other formalities, they’ll put you on their on-call list of drivers. The job entails picking up patients at their homes or residential healthcare facilities and driving them to medical appointments. Sometimes you’ll need to wait and take them back, or a different driver might be assigned to do that while you transport another patient to a doctor’s appointment.

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9 Ways To Boost Society’s Mental Wellness


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