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    Reading to Connect: The Power of Books in Volunteering

    A new edition of a social campaign promoting reading as a form of volunteering has been launched. While many initiatives encourage reading books and highlight its positive impact, a novel approach is emerging, encouraging people to read to others as a form of volunteer service.

    Volunteer Centers and Reading Programs

    Volunteer centers and various support programs offer a rich array of activities for spending time with others. From board game nights to art workshops and simple companionship, there is a wide spectrum of options. Not everyone possesses musical, artistic, or highly communicative skills, and sometimes those in need, especially seniors, seek simple human presence and conversation. In such cases, reading serves as an excellent means of engagement.

    The Power of Reading in Volunteering

    Utilizing books and reading in volunteer service allows individuals to escape momentarily from their daily realities, whether it’s a hospital bed or home confinement. Reading as a form of volunteering promotes valuable values, such as reading as an alternative to mass culture’s superficial values, providing strength to resist temptations and challenges. It also fosters engagement, openness, sensitivity to others’ needs, and altruism.

    Emotional and Social Impact

    Research and reports confirm that reading has a beneficial impact not only on cognitive and neurological aspects but also on emotional intelligence and relationship building. Reading helps in understanding oneself, others, and the world. Reading allows individuals to connect through words and stories, combatting loneliness and fostering human connections.

    A Personal Testimony

    Mrs. Jadwiga, a 78-year-old resident of Warsaw, shares her experience: “I’ve always loved reading books. It was my cherished world to escape to at any time. However, with time, my strength wanes, and my eyes rebel. That’s why I often invite volunteers to read for me. Sometimes, I choose favorite passages from well-known books, and at other times, I’m open to their suggestions. I’m grateful that I can listen to these stories and spend time with another person. Then, loneliness doesn’t hurt so much.”

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