SOURCE: M & M'S

August 22, 2013 05:00 ET

Volunteering Builds Communities, Improves Lives

MISSION, KS--(Marketwired - Aug 22, 2013) - (Family Features) Whether you enjoy building homes or assisting a family who has survived a natural disaster, volunteer opportunities that are linked to your talents are out there. The following is a sample list of volunteer opportunities that exist in many communities and may be a perfect fit for you.

With so many charitable causes and organizations, it's easy to find a volunteer opportunity that's perfect for you. According to research conducted by the Corporation for National and Community Service, those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, reported more self-worth and had fewer cases of depression. And the positive benefits don't end there. Volunteering also promotes the feelings of accomplishment and personal fulfillment rarely found in other activities.

Though the list of volunteer activities is vast, here are a few causes that can be found in most communities:

  • Give blood: Due to accidents or illnesses, thousands of people are in need of blood each day. Organize or participate in a blood drive at your church, social group or school. You can also volunteer at the local bank within your community.

  • Build homes: Do you enjoy using your hands and being outdoors? Organizations, such as Habitat for Humanity, utilize volunteer labor, material donations and monetary support to build and rehabilitate houses for families in need of decent shelter. To support this cause, M&M'S Brand has created the M'Prove America movement, and will provide more than $500,000 to help build Habitat homes across the country. The brand is also rallying Americans to donate their time and talents to help build Habitat homes.

  • Adopt a family: Natural disasters wreak havoc on communities, destroying homes and lives. Many organizations help families who've lost their homes and belongings by providing assistance with clothing, personal hygiene products and other necessities to get them back on their feet. Such organizations also look for assistance during the holidays to ensure children and parents aren't forgotten during the season of giving. Get a group of friends together and consider adopting a family in need.

  • Help at food bank: Hunger has become a national epidemic, touching lives in almost every region of America. Many volunteer opportunities are available for this worthy cause. Consider helping at a food kitchen to serve the hungry directly, box up food shipments for other banks or start a food drive competition with co-workers to see who can give the most.

A simple online search will point you in the direction of the perfect volunteer opportunities that fit your lifestyle. Many sites also offer interactive ways to show your pride and involvement in the cause. One such site has been designed for the M&M'S Brand partnership with Habitat for Humanity. To learn more about how you can get involved and pledge hours to volunteer, visit www.mproveamerica.com.

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