Volunteering as a New Year's resolution

Presque Isle Elaine Hendrickson is talking about her favorite memories that have come from her years volunteering with the Presque Isle Historical Society. She started back in 2012 after she retired and quickly became passionate about it.

"These things keep my mind active and keep me going and all the time that I'm doing that, I'm learning new information and I have a chance to share the information and it gets me out," she said.

Hendrickson doesn't spend all of her time here at the Vera Estey House Museum. She volunteers at numerous other places in the County community, including the Francis Malcolm Science Center and Big Rock Mountain. All of her hours of service have helped her develop key interpersonal skills.

"It's getting to know people and interacting with people. And then figuring out what they'd like to know or what might interest them so they'll enjoy the tour or whatever you did with them a lot more than they would have," she said.

Kim Smith is the Secretary and Treasurer for the Presque Isle Historical Society. She encourages folks to think about volunteering as a resolution as we begin the new year - she says research shows there are health benefits.

"You reduce your stress levels, you get an enhanced feeling of well being, you reduce your blood pressure, depression levels go down, and you just feel good about yourself and what you're doing," said Smith.

Smith says the Presque Isle Historical Society is planning their volunteer schedules now - and they'd always love to have more. She says volunteering also brings you outside of yourself, and closer to those around you.

"You're getting that sense of belonging in your community so it really does make a big difference," she said.

"I would certainly get your feet wet, I think you can do as little or as much as you want...and the joy of being around other people is great and you get to know people you might not have before by volunteering," said Hendrickson.

So while it may not be a traditional resolution- for some it may be just what they need to live their best year ever.