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In my late teens to early twenties I was lost; I had no focus, no direction and really didn’t care that I wasn’t heading in a positive direction. Ironically, it wasn’t until I was ‘in-between jobs’ … er … unemployed that I accidently found my way. One summer I volunteered at a summer therapy camp hosted by Immortelle Children’s Center. Operated by the staff at Immortelle, the camp was designed for students with special needs, and was dependent on the kindness of local volunteers as well as Occupational Therapy and Psychology Masters and Doctoral students from the United States. Almost immediately after starting work at the camp, my life started to come into focus. I never had ambitions of being a teacher; it never even occurred to me that it might be something that I wanted to do ‘when I grew up’, but from that day forward, I was headed down a new career path.

In the TV show Friends, Joey told Phoebe that there was no such thing as a selfless deed, and Phoebe being the loving and kind-hearted person that she was, set out to prove him wrong—only to realise that he was right; when you do things for others, you in turn feel good about yourself. By helping others you can help yourself, so go out into your small piece of the world and volunteer your time to a cause that interests you or that you feel passionate about.

The Benefits of Volunteering:

  • Learn something new; challenge yourself, step out of your comfort zone.
  • Meet new people that have the same interests and passions that you do.
  • Make a difference in your community and feel proud of yourself for a job well done.
  • Community service and volunteering looks good on college and/or job applications.
  • Learn new skills and gain new knowledge.
  • Make someone happy; make someone smile.
  • …and if you’re lucky like me, you will find direction and purpose in life!


Mahatma Ghandi said it best when he said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”


Photo by Ana-Alicia Montano