Luigi Franciosi Speaks About Developing a Sense of Community Through Charity Work
Luigi Franciosi is an established pharmaceutical consultant and Adjunct Professor of Pharmacology at The University of British Columbia. He holds a Ph.D. in pharmacology and served as the Chief Operating Officer at Verona Pharma for seven years. Despite holding such high-level positions, Franciosi remains deeply rooted in his community through his involvement in charity work.
Volunteer and charity work are the foundation of building a strong community, he says. Even in bigger cities, volunteering can have surprisingly positive physiological effects on individuals and build stronger bonds between people who might otherwise not have met. Volunteering can offset symptoms of depression and anxiety as well as contribute to longer lifespans.
Finding a volunteer opportunity that resonates with personal interests or values can act as an outlet for stress, anger, and anxiety by channeling that energy towards a feel-good project. Volunteering can provide people with a sense of purpose, which can even help to combat depression too, explains Franciosi, who has encountered countless studies regarding the illness in his line of work. He says charitable work often leads to making new friendships too, which can support a healthy sense of belonging and build networks.
Volunteering Helps to Develop Skills
For those looking to advance their careers, volunteering provides the chance to learn valuable job skills. Especially for young people, participating in charitable activities can be a great way to demonstrate to potential employers initiative and self-motivation. Some volunteer jobs can involve extensive training such as emergency hotline positions. Working under pressure, the ability to communicate clearly and effectively during a crisis, and managing unpredictable situations are highly transferrable skills. Even less involved positions can help build a resume in marketing, event planning, fundraising, and more, says Franciosi.
Volunteering is for Everyone
Of course, volunteering is not just for young people looking to advance their careers, he says. For seniors and retirees, volunteering can have huge health benefits. Franciosi explains that studies have shown that older citizens who volunteer tend to walk more, experience less stress, and have a lower chance of developing high blood pressure. The positive effects of feeling a sense of purpose, having a community to serve, and relationships to foster contribute to an overall positive outlook. It gives you a reason to get up and get out, Franciosi says.
Volunteering in today’s busy world may seem like giving too much with too little return. But the truth is that volunteering and charity work have actually been shown to reduce stress and anxiety in everyday life. Meeting new people, building relationships, making professional connections, learning new skills, and keeping active are the building blocks for a happy and fulfilling life. Even for a pharmaceutical’s expert like Luigi Franciosi, working in the community for the benefit of others allows him to reap incredible rewards and helps remedy real physiological distress. Volunteering essentially gives countless opportunities to do good and feel good, he explains. It can release endorphins, the happiness hormone, and that’s not something to scoff at.