ARTICLES

WHAT DOES  VOLUNTEERING MEAN TO YOU?

"We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Winston Churchill

 

What does Volunteering Mean to You?

 

Are you a part of something bigger than yourself? Have you found a way to give back?  If so you are part of the 19% of Floridians who volunteer.  This number is according to the Corporation for National & Community Service.  Psychology Today says people who volunteer make more money, partially because the relationships people create while volunteering can be leveraged for financial benefit. Children who volunteer with their parents are more likely to become adults who volunteer.

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Here are five reasons to make volunteering a part of your daily life.

 

1.Volunteers live longer and are healthier -

Volunteers are happier and healthier than non-volunteers. In fact, during later life, volunteering is even more beneficial for one's health than exercising and eating well. Older people who volunteer remain physically functional longer, have more robust psychological well-being, and live longer. However, older people who volunteer are almost always people who volunteered earlier in life.

2. Volunteering establishes strong relationships.

Despite all of the online connections that are available at our fingertips, people are lonelier now than ever before. Indeed, a 2010 AARP study reported that prevalence of loneliness is at an all-time high, with about one in three adults age 45 or older categorized as lonely. Online connections, while useful for maintaining existing relationships, are not very helpful in establishing lasting, new ones.

3. Volunteering is good for your career.

People who volunteer make more money, partially because the relationships people create while volunteering can be leveraged for financial benefit.  People in your close network provide redundant information—they are already participating in the same kinds of activities and know the same people. Volunteering has long been viewed as a way to create new connections that lead to career opportunities.

4. Volunteering is good for society.

Many businesses, and almost all mission-driven organizations, are successful only if they maintain a strong volunteer workforce. In fact, places like museums, social service organizations, and faith-based organizations often rely on more volunteers than paid workers to meet their goals and fulfill their mission. These businesses are committed to doing good things for society. They pick up the pieces where government programs leave off, and by volunteering for these organizations, you participate in helping our society meet the needs of people from all walks of life.

5. Volunteering gives you a sense of purpose.

Although it is not well-understood why volunteering provides such a profound health benefit, a key factor is assumed to be that volunteering serves to express and facilitate opportunities to carry out one’s sense of purpose. The very nature of volunteering means choosing to work without being paid for it. As a result, people choose to spend their time on issues they feel strongly about.

 

 

Susan Wilcox

Gateway Orlando District

Advisory Board

MORE THAN A HIGHWAY

What do you see when you drive down the Semoran Corridor in East Orlando? Sure, there are over 750 businesses dotting the landscape from Highway 50 to Orlando International Airport (OIA). And yes, there are over 65,000 automobiles traveling up and down the corridor all day long.

 

But, behind the scenes there is a group of dedicated community leaders working hard to help the local businesses prosper and grow. These companies are a mix of "Big Box" and "Mom and Pop" companies that create the economic drive making this part of Orlando, a fast paced, thriving area that is highly sought after.

 

Over 21 apartment complexes and property management companies quickly pounced on the opportunity to make the most of this convenient location. Luxury rents have risen, while design and curb appeal has greatly enhanced the area. In close proximity to, major arteries, including SR 408 (East West Expressway), SR 528 (Beachline Express) combined with access to MCO – Orlando International Airport makes this location highly desirable for business people, students and retirees.

 

Over 19 hotels offer lodging to the more than 44.6 million visitors, traveling through the airport, including, those going or returning from a cruise, families visiting Central Florida attractions and business travelers here for a few days, getting their first taste of all the City Beautiful.    Hotel occupancy rate is solid, with the occupancy rate of 84.9 for Orlando, overall. The over 75 restaurants and shops greatly benefit from the tourist and business activity, combines with spending by the locals.

 

Main Street Districts in Orlando have donated over 70,000 hours volunteer hours with an estimated value of $1.5 million. We work on projects ranging from food drives, to trash clean-up, to beautification efforts and continue to raise awareness and draw people and businesses to this area.

 

The goal of Gateway Orlando continues to be one of uniting business and residents and to bring art and culture to our area. We promote a family, friendly atmosphere. The beauty and the potential of the Semoran Corridor is only limited by our vision.

So, the next time you are driving down the Semoran Corridor, keep in mind, it is much more than "just a road".

Susan Wilcox

Gateway Orlando District

Advisory Board