Have you ever done any Volunteer work?

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Nov 12, 2017
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My entire life I have suffered from social anxiety and hate outside so it has limited me a lot in my life.
Recently, I decided to change that by doing a course for CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy).

After that I figured I wanted to keep doing something more to get "out there". So i went to a volunteer centre. My initial thoughts/assumptions are the typical ones that I think we probably all assume when we think of volunteering. Which of course I was wrong. After discussions and them realising how bad my anxiety was/is but to want me to still get out and volunteer, they decided to give me some work with them, in their actual building with an organisation upstairs - which help old people. A big part and important bit is they have them fill out a survey to see how lonely they are etc. My volunteer role will be to transfer that digitally from paper to computer.

Nothing amazing, not too hands on, but never the less, for me a big step and hopefully this will make me want to do more elsewhere (outside, full hands on etc).

I start this in 3 days (Sep 6th).

So, back to the actual title: have you ever done any volunteer work? Why did you think to do it and what role did you play? It doesn't matter if you did it for 1hr per day or 100hrs per week. It all matters and contributes a lot.


Cam Model
Dec 20, 2010
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I haven't done much volunteering as an adult but when I was a teen I volunteered at my local hospital every summer. A lot of people would refer to us as candy stripers but those outfits were long gone in my days of volunteering. I did everything from cleaning, to helping in physical therapy, filing and other administrative duties. It was a great learning experience and if I had chosen to go into the medical field it would of probably helped tremendously.
Aug 25, 2018
Hey there!

For most of my adult life, I always had the good intention of volunteering, but never set aside time to actually do it. When I moved to a new city a couple of years ago, I recognized that it was my chance to build a new life where volunteering was part of the foundation of my routine instead of a last-minute edition. It's changed my life forever.

My first volunteering experience was for a 1-acre educational edible garden, because I'd always wanted to learn about growing plants, particularly edibles and medicinals. My first few sessions, I was shy and silently weeded and watered. Eventually I started to get to know the regulars there. Now, looking back, I can say with certainty that this community was my first home in this new city, where I found warm, welcoming, and loving friends. It got me interested in sustainability, and I ended up getting a technical certificate in resource management. I also now have a side career as a gardener/landscaper!

My second volunteering experience was working with a legal organization that helps undocumented immigrants apply for asylum. I translate legal documents from home, or go into the office and help families fill out confusing paperwork, or work one-on-one with a lawyer and their client as an interpreter. It was such a privilege to listen to their stories of hardship and incredible courage, to realize that there is so much in my own life to be grateful for, and to be able to do something meaningful for someone that wasn't me or my own loved ones. I always walked away feeling grateful that I had the chance to help out, because I often felt I got way more out of it than the people I was trying to help.

Tl;dr: volunteering has given me loving friends, the motivation to go back to school, a new way to earn income, and a sense of purpose and gratitude.

These days I have a fairly busy schedule so I do one-off volunteering events, but I'm ready to re-prioritize my time so that volunteering is a regular part of my life again.

For those of you who are curious about volunteering, do it! Also know that every volunteer opportunity is a little bit different, and it's okay to try different ones until you find one that 'fits'!


Cam Model
Jun 10, 2018
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I've done a bit of volunteer work.

I've done kitchen prep in a homeless shelter
I've done paperwork/cold calls in a homeless shelter
I've done hospice care in a homeless shelter
I've done housing help in a homeless shelter
I've done crisis phone lines at a rape crisis centre
I've done doula/birth companion attending.

Right now I'm considering volunteering at a walk to raise funds to help bereaved families with infant and pregnancy loss... the only reason I'm saying Imy considering it is because I actually want to do the walk and don't know if I can do both.

The most rewarding one for me was attending births. It feeds my soul and passion but with family life and my husband it's not something I'm able to do at the moment...

My first experiences in a male homeless shelter was to give back to an agency who helped my first husband when he first came to my city.

The housing help and rape crisis work was to connect with women and survivors (I actually also ran a pregnancy health group within the housing help)

And the birth companion was exactly as I mentioned above... it fed my soul and passion...

Sorry for such a long post I got a but excited lol
May 11, 2017
Terra Firma
Great topic, @Brett M

Good to see people stepping up and helping out! Brett, I'm not sure if this might help you with anxiety. But, have you ever thought to visit residents at a senior center? Many of them don't have any visitors, and they would enjoy some company. Might be a first step for actual person-to-person help. :)

As for myself, I've always done some level of volunteer work throughout most of my life. Either through organizations such as food shelters, community programs, or different aspects. I also tend to directly help many friends, family and acquaintances I know who need help (this is preferred to me since I know where it goes and helps those I know). Currently, I'm doing a lot of volunteer work for the community I live in.

For the reasons why, I think it's part of who I became while growing up. My family wasn't that well off, but we always did what we could to help others. Add to it, one of my parents had a debilitating disease so I was forced into helping take care of someone at a very early age.
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