Reporting wellness benefits of horticulture volunteer programs
The many health-related benefits of volunteerism have been documented in various studies. Benefits include reduced stress, increased self-esteem, and improved mental and physical health. Many horticulture programs rely on the service of volunteers. Typically, the number of trained volunteers, hours served, and dollar value of those hours are used in reporting and to obtain funding. However, the wellness outcomes of volunteerism, and long-term impacts, may be better reported. Two volunteer coordinators in Florida wanted to measure the impacts of social and wellness benefits of volunteerism to see if these benefits could be impactful in horticulture programs that rely on volunteers. The coordinators researched data and related studies, created a survey, and analyzed survey results to demonstrate that the health-related benefits of volunteerism are present in the programs they coordinate. The coordinators were then able to correlate these benefits to program objectives, which can be use in reporting as well as volunteer recruitment and retention.
Yasalonis, A. and Pinson, N.D. (2021). Reporting wellness benefits of horticulture volunteer programs. Acta Hortic. 1330, 201-204
health, social, emotional, physical, volunteerism, reporting, recruitment, retention