“Good exercise for the heart: reach out and help your neighbor.” —Mark Twain
meaningful employment through a personal contact than any other job-seeking tactic. Lastly, resident volunteers are learning soft skills, such as improving verbal and written communication, and more professional skills gleaned from participating in crisis counseling or marketing. These volunteer experiences enhance resident resumes. Resident Volunteers on the Pathway to Healthier Living When people volunteer to help and work with others, that social contact has a profound effect on mental health and has even been shown to combat depression. Nothing relieves stress and anxiety better than having a meaningful connection with another person. Also, regular volunteers develop stronger relationships that develop into support systems. These associations are critical to good mental health and happiness including as conduits to meaningful employment. Studies have found that volunteers have better physical health as well. Correlations have been made between those who volunteer and decreased chronic pain and reduced risk of heart disease. People with hypertension are more likely to decrease blood pressure by being active in their communities. Operation Pathways is happy to create these volunteer opportunities to help keep our communities living longer and healthier. Resident Volunteers on the Pathway to Aging in Place Our communities’ older adults make some of the best resident volunteers! Older adults find a sense of purpose, new meaning, and direction in their lives by helping others. Social isolation is said to heighten health risks as much as smoking 15 cigarettes a day! Many older adults living independently in our affordable housing communities do not have regular visitors and suffer from loneliness. Giving older adults opportunities to feel needed and to contribute to the community is an essential function of our resident services programming. Everyone wins when a solid volunteer initiative is fully integrated into a resident services program. This resident engagement makes communities stronger, safer, happier, healthier, and more vibrant. We are so proud of the rich programs and services that Operation Pathways is able to offer and of the relationships residents create with the financial and in-kind service providers at our portfolio of properties, but we can’t take all the credit. We would not be half as successful without the contributions of wonderful resident leaders.
Richard F. Burns
Kenneth D. White
Executive Director & Chief Operating Officer,
Operation Pathways, Inc.
Operation Pathways, Inc.
Operation Pathways, Inc. | Fiscal Year 2019 Annual Report 3
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