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Try Volunteering!

Over the past few years, I have become passionate about volunteer work. Volunteering is not only a great opportunity for giving back to the community but can also be beneficial to the volunteers themselves. Volunteer work can look many ways and there are tons of great opportunities to volunteer wherever you live! It’s something that can be tailored to your lifestyle and provides a wonderful opportunity to explore new interests, listen to stories you may have never heard, and it offers a method of giving back to others. 

Finding time to volunteer can be challenging, especially if you have a lot on your plate already. However, by finding an organization that you are passionate about, you can use it as an opportunity to develop new skills, connect with the community, and create new relationships. 

It’s important to ask yourself a few questions before you begin looking for volunteer opportunities to ensure you will offer value to the organization, and simultaneously find joy in the work you’re doing. It’s good to get an idea of what type of volunteer work you enjoy doing before committing any of your time. What causes are you passionate about? Do those causes relate to humans, animals, or the environment? Do you prefer working in groups or alone? What skills do you possess that you could offer? What skills are you looking to gain? How much time can you commit to volunteer work? By understanding exactly what you can offer, and what you’re looking for, you can simplify the process of finding volunteer work that is right for you. 

One of the topics we focus on in our suicide prevention training here at The Kim Foundation is the importance of self-care. We try to help identify ways someone can develop a self-care plan with practices that positively impact the mind, spirit, and body. We recognize that volunteering can fall into any of these categories and can profoundly affect all aspects of our wellbeing. Volunteer activities can keep the body and mind at work, release several endorphins in the brain that promote happiness, and give your life more defined meaning and purpose. 

Volunteering is a great opportunity to meet new people with similar values and interests to your own. Often in adulthood, it can be hard to form new friendships outside of work. By finding an organization with a mission you feel passionate about, you will surround yourself with people who have similar values and interests. Connection with others itself is a form of self-care and a protective factor for a healthy mental wellbeing, so it’s a win-win situation!  

Volunteering can also allow you to get together with friends and family and bond through working together for a greater cause. This can be a great (and free) activity to connect with one another and understand each other’s values in a deeper sense. Whatever your motivation may be, volunteering has the power to transform your life in all aspects. It can offer a unique and gratifying experience, whether your goals are improving your health, your social life, or your search for new skills. If you’d like to volunteer with The Kim Foundation, you can fill out our online form here, and I will be in touch shortly! 

Happy Volunteering! 

Ashlee Zaragoza, Outreach Coordinator

Ashlee Zaragoza is an Outreach Coordinator at The Kim Foundation. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Multidisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Leadership from UNO in December of 2022. Ashlee has previous experience in leadership, management, hospitality and training development. Ashlee’s life experiences and passion for suicide prevention and mental health advocacy brought her to The Kim Foundation as a volunteer in May 2023. Ashlee’s passion for people has driven her into this role where she will be a supportive resource and compassionate voice for those affected by suicide and mental health. She currently focuses on outreach through presentations, events, and community initiatives.