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Volunteerism: Role in Health

Volunteering is an activity that broadly refers to individuals giving their time to benefit another person, group, or cause as a result of their own free choice and not because of financial remuneration, a sense of obligation, a mandate, or coercion. Although the term is typically used in reference to helping behaviors that occur in the context of formal organizations, such as government agencies and nonprofit organizations, the term is also sometimes used to refer to informally helping neighbors, friends, and relatives. Volunteering is increasingly viewed as an activity that not only benefits those who are the recipients of volunteers’ service but also serves as an activity that can promote the well-being of the individual volunteers themselves. This entry provides an overview of research on ...

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