V – Volunteering
Why consider volunteering?
There is a growing body of research that indicates volunteering provides mental, physical, and social benefits to all individuals. Those whose lives are being 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; take a break from their own pain by assisting with people with a completely different set of life circumstances; or organize a group, class, foundation, or nonprofit organization geared toward bettering the world in some way. Volunteering time, energy, resources, knowledge, and life experience help both the giver and receiver.
How does volunteering promote healing?
• By providing a sense of purpose when life seems out of control
• By increasing community connections and social interactions
• By boosting self-confidence, self-esteem, and life satisfaction
• By promoting physical and emotional health and well-being
- 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.
- 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
- 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.