One thing entrepreneurs quickly learn about Gayle Martz while reading her new book, “IT’S IN THE BAG: How to Turn a Passion into a New Business” is that Martz is not only a successful entrepreneur, writer, and pet-travel pioneer and advocate, but she is also an avid volunteer. For every success Martz has had, she makes sure to give back. She doesn’t just donate money; she also shows up, giving her time. From volunteering with stray animals to helping other entrepreneurs on their journey to success, Martz’s story is rife with a spirit of giving. One of Martz’s favorite quotes is, “a rising tide lifts all boats.” Wise words, and research can prove it! Read on to find out why volunteering is so beneficial and how to get started today!
Benefits of Volunteering
Volunteering and giving back obviously helps those on the receiving end, but what about the volunteer? Research supports Martz’s theory on volunteerism, that “when everybody helps each other, we all grow.” In an article summarizing the research, The Mayo Clinic sites six major research-based health benefits of volunteering. Volunteering reduces risk of depression, provides a sense of purpose, maintains and encourages physical and mental activity, reduces stress levels, provides a sense of belonging by creating new relationships, and can even improve longevity.
Empty nesters and retirees especially benefit from volunteering. Leaving the work force and no longer having children living at home can alter our sense of purpose and make us feel more isolated than ever before. Volunteering can help! Martz sums it up nicely when she writes about volunteering stating, “You will renew yourself while you build positive relationships by helping them.”
Follow Your Passion
So, how do you get started? It’s simpler than it seems. Start with your interests and passions, then seek out an organization that fits the bill. Reach out, and see where you can be of service. Even if there isn’t a posted need for volunteers, organizations can often find a void for you to fill. Martz has worked with the Humane Society because of her love for animals and joined professional women’s organizations to mentor young entrepreneurs on their journey to success. Most recently she teamed up with Greater Good Charities to donate 11,000 pet carriers and other pet-related travel products to help transport dogs from Puerto Rico following natural disasters and to people evacuating with their pets during the California wildfires.
From tutoring at-risk children to becoming a volunteer docent at a local art museum, there are so many unique opportunities to give back. Start with what you love, and follow your passion to find the perfect spot to volunteer for you.
Giving money is great, but getting out the door, connecting in person to others in need, and using your hands and your heart to give back has a powerful effect on physical and mental health that money can’t buy. You don’t have to overcommit yourself. Start by choosing one day a month to get involved in a cause that you believe in. Get your family and friends on board. Nothing compares to the feeling of helping others from the goodness of your heart. Take a cue from the pages of Gayle Martz’s inspirational life, and fill yourself back up by giving to others. For more inspiration, positivity, and a story of hard-won success, grab a copy of Gayle Martz’s latest book, IT’S IN THE BAG: How to Turn a Passion into a New Business!