Giuseppe Caira enjoys volunteering in the Down Syndrome community, and in the following article, discusses the benefits of spending time with this unique group of people.
Volunteering is a great way to get involved with your community and make a true difference to a vulnerable population that needs help the most. Spending time with people with down syndrome is a deeply rewarding experience explains Giuseppe Caira. Volunteers experience personal satisfaction in knowing they are making a difference in people’s lives. They experience joy in their interactions with those in the organization and those they serve says, Giuseppe Caira. They learn vital professional skills and gain knowledge they can apply to their work within the organization and other endeavors.
Giuseppe Caira discusses a few of the many ways volunteers can positively impact someone else’s life below.
Giuseppe Caira Says the Time Spent is Deeply Rewarding
According to a study published by BMC Public Health in 2017, volunteering has many benefits for the individual, including better mental and physical health. Areas that show improved health are life satisfaction, self-esteem, and happiness, as well as lowered depressive symptoms, psychological distress, mortality, and functional inability.
Giuseppe Caira says that spending time in the Down Syndrome community is particularly rewarding because along with all the mental health benefits of volunteering, those who spend time within this community are part of something bigger. They are part of a movement to provide the best quality of life possible for people with disabilities who may not be able to meet all their own needs.
Those working directly with individuals who have Down Syndrome have the added benefit of getting to know these amazing people on a personal level says, Giuseppe Caira. Volunteers get to share in the joys, struggles, and triumphs of this unique community.
Become Part of a Community
When a volunteer chooses to work with Down Syndrome organizations, that individual becomes part of a tight-knit community. Strong community ties are established whether the volunteer is working with others to fundraise and develop projects for those with Down Syndrome or working with individuals who have Down Syndrome directly says, Giuseppe Caira.
Strong social ties are created while working alongside others who share a vision of providing the best life possible for people with Down Syndrome. Giuseppe Caira says that volunteers come together with a single purpose and assume a variety of roles within the community while remaining focused on the mission of the organization.
This creates a sense of belonging and fosters relationships between all members of the community, including those with Down Syndrome and those volunteering to serve them. Giuseppe Caira discusses a study done by SSM – Population Health outlines the self-perceived health benefits of community belonging, demonstrating that those who have a sense of community perceive their own lives as improving.
Learn Professional Skills
Many volunteers come to learn vital skills, including community organization, fundraising, and leadership. Depending on the roles, people can develop their professional skills in ways that translate to creating their own organization or business, reinvesting their new skills into the community, or seeking paid positions in the work field explains Giuseppe Caira.
Others can choose to work directly with people who have Down Syndrome to learn skills related to professions such as public speaking, speech, language, physiotherapy, or education. Prospective or current teachers and other professionals who work in school settings can volunteer to sharpen their skills and knowledge in how to best serve their students who have Down Syndrome.
Gain Job Experience for Future Employment
Some organizations or workplaces require experience before considering applicants for their desired position. Being a Down Syndrome volunteer provides the experience many employers look for according to Giuseppe Caira. Holding a volunteer position shows the employer that the applicant is dedicated and passionate about their cause.
Stepping up in the community also shows the employer that the volunteer is willing to commit even without being paid. This reflects positively on the person, particularly if the employer has had trouble finding dedicated and reliable employees in the past.
This is also a great way to enter or re-enter the workforce. Employers will see the volunteer’s experience and dedication to a noble cause and take that into consideration during the hiring process.
Final Thoughts on being a Down Syndrome Volunteer
Community volunteering not only benefits those with Down Syndrome but also the volunteer themselves. Studies have shown that volunteering and belonging to a community have physical and emotional health benefits. Not only that, but this provides valuable skills and experience necessary for many professions. Nothing can replace the enrichment created by working with this population.