Looking to boost your spirits? Here’s why volunteering may help your health

It started with a delivery on a Friday to every firefighter who was on duty on that day.

If you’re looking for something to boost your spirits and overall wellbeing right now, volunteering may help.

A new study published by the American Journal of Preventative Medicine found that volunteering can reduce risk of death, improve sense of well being and boost physical activity.

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The study looked at nearly 13,000 adults age 50 or older and concluded there is “growing evidence documents strong associations between volunteering and favorable health and well-being outcomes.”

Two groups of people were tracked for four years and the study concluded that those who volunteered about two hours per week saw positive health benefits.

“Now is a wonderful opportunity to reimagine what volunteering could look like, perhaps in ways that allow us to remain physically distant from others,” the study’s author Eric Kim told CNN.

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“Volunteering might help enrich our own lives by strengthening our bonds to others, helping us feel a sense of purpose and optimism, and protecting us from feelings of loneliness, depressive symptoms, and hopelessness,” Kim added.

While volunteering may look different right now amid efforts to maintain a safe distance, there are still ways to help. Here are 100 charitable ways to help in metro Atlanta.

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