Serving Those Who Serve Us

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    Volunteering can be great for one’s mental health. Supporting a charity with your time and skills can counteract the effects of stress, anger and anxiety. The social contact aspect of helping and working with others can have a profound effect on your overall psychological well-being. Nothing relieves stress better than a meaningful connection to another person.
    Volunteering for a charity can help greatly with combating depression. It keeps you in regular contact with others and helps you develop a solid support system, which in turn helps protect you against depression. Depression can be counteracted by having a responsibility that you can handle, which you can receive from working at a charity. Having daily task(s) to complete is a well-known technique for battling bad days.

    Becoming a volunteer can make you very happy. By measuring hormones and brain activity, researchers have discovered that being helpful to others delivers immense pleasure. Human beings are hardwired to give to others. The more we give, the happier we feel.

    In my humble opinion, there is nothing better than serving those who are serving us.
    No matter the position you volunteer for in a charity, it can increase your self-confidence. You are doing good for others and the community, which provides you with a natural sense of accomplishment. Your role as a volunteer can also give you a sense of pride and identity—and the better you feel about yourself, the more likely you are to have a positive view of your life and future goals. Even more importantly, your new positive outlook will affect those around you in a positive manner.

    Giving time and energy to a cause can provide a sense of purpose. Older adults, especially those who have retired or lost a spouse, can find new meaning and direction in their lives by helping others. Whatever your age, physical or mental health, or your life situation, volunteering can help take your mind off your own issues and keep you mentally stimulated.

    Volunteering can also help you stay physically healthy. Studies have found that those who volunteer have a lower mortality rate than those who do not. Older volunteers tend to walk more, find it easier to cope with everyday tasks, are less likely to develop high blood pressure and have better thinking skills. Volunteering can also lessen symptoms of chronic pain and reduce the risk of heart disease.

    Now that we have thoroughly explained some of the benefits of being a volunteer, let’s discuss what you can do for our deployed troops. The obvious choice is becoming a volunteer for CFW, the only 501(c)(3) charity that sends premium cigars, coffee, video games and other items to our deployed men and women. We send many other items in their warrior’s package as well, which means there are many opportunities to support the charity. CFW is always looking for new volunteers, even if you think you do not have any strong skill sets. At the same time, we are always looking for those who have specific skill sets—anywhere from finance, web development and management to app-building, programming, business development, social media, public relations, administrative assistants and supervisors. If you are interested, please feel free to contact our staff development administrator, Shane Woodmancy, at shane.woodmancy@cigarsforwarriors.net.

    Hopefully after reading this you will begin to understand why our primary motto is “Live 2 Serve.”

    For me, and maybe you, supporting those amazing men and women who are deployed and willing to sacrifice their lives to protect us and our freedoms is the way to go. Whether you choose to become a volunteer for CFW or another great charity, volunteering your time can be an amazingly positive time in your life.

    Please stay healthy during these times with the COVID-19 pandemic still going strong. CFW provides an opportunity to help stimulate those of you who are stuck at home by offering plenty of volunteering opportunities.

    This story first appeared in the September/October 2020 issue of Tobacco Business magazine. Members of the tobacco industry are eligible for a complimentary subscription to our magazine. Click here for details.

    Contributed by Storm Boen, Chairman, Operation: Cigars for Warriors