- Mental Health»
The Rewards of Volunteer Work
"A friend in need is a friend indeed!"
Improve Mental Health
If you find yourself watching more hours of television than you'd care to admit, sensing little or no meaning to life, and feeling empty or listless, volunteer work for the local community should seriously be considered. To have a healthy, positive psychology, volunteering can help you feel good about yourself.
"The world is a better place because you're in it!"
Where to Volunteer
Community work may be organized through churches, schools, or places of commercial endeavor. Examples of charitable volunteering include trash pickups; tutoring a child; visiting shut-ins, the sick or elderly; perfoming household chores for an emotionally or physically challenged neighbor--the possibilities are endless.
AARP Volunteer USA
Volunteer opportunities for seniors.
Network for Senior Corps and Americorps
Protection and care of animals
Human welfare in developing countries
Tell Them Thanks
Supports military personnel through mail
Volunteers of America
Seniors, veterans, and homeless
"Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." -- John Fitzgerald Kennedy
First Lady Causes that Fed Volunteerism
First ladies have always had their influence on the American people since the inception of the presidency. However, a few of them have run campaigns in modern times to improve or reverse a social trend negatively affecting American citizens. Nancy Reagan, for example, headed the "Just Say No" campaign against illicit drug use. Barbara Bush focused on literacy. Hilary Clinton inspired the rights of women to progress. Laura Busch, a librarian, promoted multicultural understanding of the Middle East through children's books. Today, Michelle Obama strives to educate the public and especially school children on nutrition and obesity in an effort to reverse the obesity epidemic plaguing the United States.
Each and every one of these ladies and many of their predecessors had some kind of interest that inspired Americans to act. So, the concept of volunteer work is as much a part of democracy as the flag and the eagle.
Fulfilling Your Tithe
Tithing, encouraged by most churches, is based on the principle of giving. In doing so, you open yourself to life's energy flow through you. But tithing doesn't have to be just money; it can be an energy tithe. Volunteering your time fulfills the divine law of tithe and opens you to life's energy and opportunities.
“The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.” --Bruce Lee, Martial Artist, Philosopher
Opening the Heart
Around your physical heart, there is a field of energy that appears pink in its purified state. This pink is associated with unconditional love, characterized as compassion. When a volunteer performs work as small as a favor, spends time with another, or performs a service in the community without thought of reward or payment, the pink aura of the heart is magnified and can be experienced as tangible warmth. Experiencing the "warmth at the heart" is healing--deep lines in the face soften, smiling becomes easier and more frequent, muscle tension and migraines begin to vanish, sleep becomes deeper, and you feel joyous, having discovered life's purpose. ***
“Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.” --Martin Luther King, Jr.
Volunteer Experiences in My Life
In looking back on my life and realizing there is more to come, I regard my farming childhood as volunteer work because, as a child, I was never paid for any chores I did; it was a basic lesson in karma, cause and effect, reward and discipline.
Life as a high school student required many extra hours after school in music sectionals for the band, working concessions, and even traveling to a small community that had lost its band director. Later, I joined Keyettes, who often made small gifts for community fundraisers. I also participated in dance band and pep band. I gave private lessons to the last-chair clarinet player at the request of my band director.
In college, I tutored at least one student whose English was a second language and volunteered as a professor's aid for American Thought and Language, a required curriculum at Michigan State University.
When part of a mother's support group, I enjoyed making a vegan meal for a mother who had just given birth.
I served as an assistant leader in Girl Scouts.
The Benstead Solar Project, founded by me in Torrance, California spurred successful upgrades and extended pool time for the City.
I enjoyed critiquing at The Next Big Writing online.
Later, I read individually to three elderly ladies in nursing care facility through a county literacy council, sang in a church choir, and adapted/recorded stories for Dial-A-Story, which allowed children to call the library and listen to a bedtime story.
I worked as a cashier for an artists' association whose mission was to promote creative arts and crafts in the community. And, I've lost count of how many original quilts I designed, hand quilted, and gave away.
I hope my experiences provide inspiration for those needing ideas about how to make their lives more meaningful. Now, if you haven't already, get going and volunteer. God bless you! ***
What interests can you use to volunteer?
© 2012 Marie Flint