At some point during my full-time summer employment, I realized I was not well-suited to a desk job. I started dreaming about the future possibilities of a writing career. But then I awoke pretty abruptly from my dreams and realized, I could wait years to get paid to do something I love. Or I could volunteer to do something I love right now.
Volunteering makes you feel good because you are doing something out of the goodness of your heart, no strings attached.
Volunteering usually puts you in a position to recognize how lucky you are.
Volunteering can give you a sense of community.
All of those things are healthy.
But let's face it. There's a more selfish reward too. Volunteering allows you to pursue something you love in a way that your day-to-day might not. Love kids? Read to them at a library. Love teaching? Help people earn their GEDs. Love event planning? Everyone needs help with this one.
Getting that fulfillment is healthy too.
Idealist is a great way to browse unconventional jobs and volunteering opportunities. On my first day of browsing, it's where I just so happened to stumble upon a request for a volunteer health writer.
You Can Thrive! is a non-profit organization in NYC that delivers integrative health services to people who have breast cancer, or are recovering from treatment. Services include things like massage, acupuncture, nutritional education, aromatherapy, and a lot of community support. For free. The goal is to support recovery through a whole person approach.
I'm happy to call myself a volunteer for YCT. My role is morphing into newsletter designer/writer. It is a really fantastic creative outlet, and I love promoting their events, since I can't be there in person. I have already learned a lot and am so inspired by the vast resources available.
So go to their website. Pass it on to someone who could use their resources. Donate if you can (It's Breast Cancer Awareness month. #pinkforpeople). Let me know if you'd like to receive the newsletter. ;-)