Consumers’ Corner # 10


The magical benefits
of volunteering

By Jim Murphy

If you feel there’s more to life than the way you are living it right now – you’re probably right.

But here’s the good news.

An easy way to get out of your rut, do something meaningful and actually become healthier … is to help others as a volunteer.

Studies have shown that doing things for others can lower your stress, boost your confidence, reduce the risk of depression, help you enjoy more contact with people and provide you with a new sense of purpose.

 In addition, doctors studied more than 6,300 retired persons over 65 in 2002. They found that the volunteers among them had less than half the risk of dying compared with non-volunteers.

Another benefit; A Johns Hopkins University study in 2009 revealed that volunteers actually increased their brain functioning.

All that from volunteering – what are you waiting for?

Old Pine Community Center is always looking for volunteers for Saturday for Seniors, Adult Education and the After School Program.

Contact Old Pine for details. Call 215-627-2493, email or stop in.

Your brain and body will be glad you did. So will the people you help.

Your hard drive just crashed …
what are you going to do now?

How bad will you feel about the priceless family photos you will never see again?

Or those important personal records, emails, music, documents and movies?

Feel the pain. Then back up your computer files as soon as possible. And develop a system to remind yourself to do if frequently.

Here are the statistics:

Backblaze, an online backup company whose 25,000 hard drives keep spinning 24 hours a day, estimates 50% of hard drives will survive until their sixth birthday, says ExtremeTech Newsletter.

Think about it. That means 50% won’t make it that long.

“Eventually, every hard drive will fail,” some even within months, Todd Johnson, vice president for operations at OnTrack Data Recovery (, a firm specializing in recovering digital files, told the New York Times back in 2005.

Recovery of data has gotten much better over the years. But it’s not perfect, and it is costly. Many companies don’t want to quote prices beforehand. But one data recovery expert said expect to pay a minimum of $2000.

So save yourself a lot of money and heartache. Consider getting a backup drive.

At the very least, go to your local store or Amazon and get a flash drive. Costs have dropped to amazing levels for huge storage capacity.

I looked last night and saw a 64 GB flash drive for just $15.99. At that price, buy two and back up to both.

You will save yourself a lot of tears, heartache and handwringing.

But, please. Don’t just nod your head that this is a good idea, and go on about your business. Take action now. Order those USB Flash Drives while you’re thinking of it.

Believe me, one day you will be thanking me profusely.


William Penn’s two major streets in Philadelphia, High Street (now Market) and Broad Street, were 100 feet wide – far larger than any London thoroughfares at the time.



 “holding hands” flickr photo by JonathanCohenshared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license

Jim Murphy is a direct marketing copywriter who has run his own consulting business since 2004. For nine years, he wrote and edited “Choices,” an award-winning credit union magazine with a circulation of 80,000. He also is a certified member of the Association of Philadelphia Tour Guides.

Any comments made are Jim’s opinion, and not necessarily those of the Old Pine Community Center.





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