I volunteer for an Edmonton cat rescue called SAFE Team. Today we did a presentation to a grade 7 and a grade 8 animal rescue class! It is awesome that a class on responsible animal ownership and valuing animals exists as an option class in school these days! This was definitely not the case when I was in junior high many many years ago! An article published in the August 2013 online edition of BMC Public Health looked at the health benefits of volunteering. The article authored by Jenkinson et al was a systematic review/meta analysis of 40 different studies. The review found that volunteering had a positive impact on emotional/mental health with volunteers feeling improved well being, more satisfaction with their life, and lower rates of depression. It was also found that volunteers had a lower risk of mortality compared to people who did not volunteer. The info gathered from this review is pretty obvious, but it is helpful to confirm that when we give our time and energy to people or animals in need, we also support our overall health at the same time.