The hope is that everyone in the class of 2023 will want to stay involved with Master Gardeners. I frequently tell people the four main reasons I stay involved are I enjoy gardening, I value the many friends I’ve made through JCMGA, I learn something new every time I am at the Extension, and it’s a great way to give back to the Rogue Valley community.
Recently I read an article on the benefits of volunteering in the fall edition of Healthwise, the Oregon PERS Health Insurance Program Newsletter. In case anyone still hasn’t discovered good reasons to stay involved, here are the ones listed in that article —
- Staying connected: no matter your age or life situation, volunteering can distract from any worries and create connections with other like-minded people. The more people in your social circle, the fewer chances there will be feelings of isolation and loneliness.
- Boosting your self-esteem: many volunteers report getting significant satisfaction from the contributions they make. The sense of accomplishment that comes from helping others can provide a healthy dose of confidence.
- Getting your body moving: volunteering by gardening can provide cardio and strength-building benefits with no gym involved.
- Sharpening your mind: the old saying, “Use it or lose it!” applies to our minds as well as our bodies. Learning, reading, and teaching gardening practices uses cognitive skills that would otherwise sit idle.
We hope you continue to volunteer with JCMGA – for whatever reasons motivate you and bring you joy!