Tag: Volunteering

Service Work and Volunteering

Throughout my life service work and volunteering were something I regularly did without a thought. I did it because I wanted to and cared deeply for human beings in general, even just having met them. I can remember volunteering was something I started doing as a young girl. My mom and I would drive from our small town to the bigger city with Wal-Mart or Payless, to buy shoes for children in our community through a non-profit that ran off donations. Or volunteering to help with children in classrooms, buying food for the homeless population, or giving clothes away that I no longer needed to someone who did.

Embracing the Power of Service Work: A Journey of Recovery and Giving Back

Service work and volunteering hold a profound place in the hearts of individuals in substance use and mental health recovery. As someone who has embarked on a personal journey of recovery for the past 7.5 years, I have come to appreciate the transformative power of giving back. Though many people in substance use recovery will see service work and volunteering through the lens of 12-step programs, there is purpose and value in volunteering outside of the 12-step communities too, especially for those on a different recovery pathway.

The Benefits of Serving Others

I have always enjoyed volunteering and service work. In Girl Scouts, they were called service projects. I can remember doing clean up projects and singing at retirement homes. As kids, those of us in the neighborhood would pick up trash around a nearby church. I had a reading “grandma” in 5th grade who I continued to visit for many years after. I also volunteered as a Candy Striper at the hospital delivering mail and flowers. As an adult I learned the importance of service work to my recovery, whether that was opening and closing a meeting, sponsoring others, or being the treasurer for a group.