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It seems obvious, at least to someone with zero medical qualifications like me, that doing good makes you feel good, which ought to have some health benefits.
I thought a bit about that Monday when I and some of my OnMilwaukee.comrades worked together at City Year Milwaukee's service day at Bay View High School. Some of us built storage boxes for classrooms, others built benches and still others painted murals to help beautiful the school environment and inspire students.
We're not professional carpenters or artists, but, as Molly Snyder says, we put our hearts into our work and I think the results bear that out.
According to Terri Cole – the CEO of Live Fearless and Free and an adjunct professor at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts – who wrote on the subject for Huffington Post, "feel-good hormones like serotonin, oxytocin, endorphins, and dopamine may be released when a person sees a direct positive result from their good deeds. The act of being of service and exchanging positive energy with another human is a psychological and emotional win-win.
"An intriguing study from the Corporation for National and Community Service titled "The Health Benefits of Volunteering" showed that states with higher volunteer rates have overall better health and lower rates of heart disease. Along with the positive physical benefits, an increase in mental health was reported due to the personal sense of accomplishment from the volunteer activity. Volunteers also have lower rates of depression and live longer."
I like to think that our brief time in the halls of Bay View High School Monday have made everyone involved a little healthier, be it physically or emotionally.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.