There is a growing body of research that indicates volunteering provides mental, physical and social benefits to all individuals. Those whose lives have been transformed by grief and trauma may choose to channel their pain and struggle into a process of helping others who are on the same journey or even take a break from their own pain by assisting people with a completely different set of life circumstances. Volunteering heals by:
- providing a sense of purpose when life seems out of control
- lowering rates of depression
- increasing community connections and social interactions
- boosting self confidence, self esteem, and life satisfaction
- The Lemonade Stand: How to Make a Difference 101 by David Justus
- Volunteering: 101 Ways You Can Improve the World and Your Life by Douglas Lawson
- American Red Cross – Search for a wide range of volunteer opportunities in your community.
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of America – Become a “Big” for youth in your area who need extra support.
- Meals on Wheels America – Deliver food to seniors who can no longer go to the store or cook for themselves.
- Modern Widows Club – Join a local service chapter to make a global impact.
- National Park Service – Clear a trail, clean the beach, plant new trees, or restore the dunes in a national park.
- Soaring Spirits International – Join an inclusive, non-denominational organization offering members the tools and resources they need to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of the death of a spouse or life partner.
- Beautiful Me – Hance Family Foundation – Educate young women by promoting appreciation for their genuine qualities, accurate self awareness, and the satisfaction gained by helping others.
- Network for Good – Search for volunteer opportunities that match your interests and geographic location, or search for an organization by name. Keep a record of all your volunteer activity to keep a private journal of your volunteer time and your experiences.
How can you integrate VOLUNTEERING into your healing journey?