DO WE WANT TO BE A VOLUNTEER?                  

By Howard Diamond

February 1, 2021

man in white t shirt and blue pants
Photo by RODNAE Productions on

What type of job do we want?
What skills and hobbies do we possess?
Do we have enough experience?
Where do we start our search?
Do we want to be a volunteer?

To volunteer is the willingness to work on behalf of others without the expectation of pay or other tangible gain. What I am focusing on how this is a tool of recovery. To be a volunteer one becomes an integral part of an organization or agency. They are valued around the world regardless of age, race, creed or gender, anyone who wants to give back to our communities. 

In my past, I volunteered on many occasions, including my university’s public relations department, sports information office and my universities’ student advocate office. These were positive opportunities and assisted me in my educational and social goals. Not only does volunteering help the place where we are doing the work, but it benefits the specific person doing the work itself. On occasion volunteering can lead to paid employment.  

Yes, this applied to me, also. During late 1992 or 1993, I began volunteering in the Grant Department of North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset (now called Northwell Health). Performing a variety of tasks, I learned many functions of the job and I was always on time. After around seven months one of the employees in the department went on sick leave. Then, I was asked if I wanted a temporary paid position. Once, I juggled my schedule I was able to work four days weekly from 8am to 5pm and where I stayed for five months (13 months in total) till he returned. This was great for my working experience and they were glad to have me.

Others commented that being a volunteer is rewarding. Also, we find it as an instrumental part in stopping our cycles of relapsing and possibly returning to the hospital. Many of us have found by doing a volunteering is a stepping stone with a chance to accomplish something positive and feeling productive. By volunteering, one can learn new things, make new friends and of course develop skills with the possibly for some type of paid employment. An expression often used here, “get one’s feet wet”. Wow, that sounds totally awesome.

Time does not really matter for someone who volunteers. Whether one volunteers, one hour a day, few hours a week, a week or two or several months, it is a wonderful technique to figure out oneself. Furthermore, we continue to perform an important function and helping others and us in the process. Also, a person may get an opportunity to, “spread one’s wings” in a “real life” work environment.

Evaluate for oneself. The best person to know what a person wants is the person themselves. Then, do we want to be a volunteer? A lot of information was given in this article to make a decision, think about this carefully. No rush, no pressure. It is up to each individual to make their own choice. Positive thinking all.

See everyone in the NewsBlogs.

Howard Diamond is a New York State Certified Peer Specialist from Long Island 

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