Volunteering within the local community is a way to improve services, help some services continue to be offered, and fill in gaps where no services exist. It also provides the chance to meet new people, increase social interactions, and get out of the house. Many volunteers are retired people, students, those who are disabled, and mothers once their youngest child enters kindergarten. Companies often encourage employees to volunteer, and most communities host an annual help day where employees do community service in groups. The company gives back to the community, enjoys the positive publicity, and gets people out of the office or work station.
Volunteering can be hard work, but it can also be interesting and fun. A docent at the historical society, for example, educates people about the town or city, learns many new things in the process, and gets to interact with people who share an interest in history. School trip chaperons share experiences with their children, make the trip possible, and get to visit places they may not think to go on their own. The opportunities for volunteering in a public or non-profit hospital are rewarding, fascinating, and educational. They also give people the chance to provide reassurance and comfort to fellow members of the community. Bringing the library cart around to those who are hospitalized is an example. The work is not difficult, it may not be possible without volunteers, and the simple act will lift spirits and make recovery a little more tolerable.
Greeting people as they enter the facility and directing them to a destination will make them feel more confident about roaming around the hospital, and just might relieve some of their anxiety. Volunteering can be a one-time event for special activities, such as a health fair or an annual free screening day. Community members can also choose to volunteer on a regular basis to ensure activities will definitely take place. A support group may need a facilitator to be responsible for keeping order. The job would not require any special training, just someone willing to show up every time. Explore the opportunities available in your community and have some fun. Those in the Burlington area of Massachusetts can visit Twitter.com/LaheyHospital for details.