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Old 10-20-2013, 09:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default How many people here do volunteer work?

If there are people here who do volunteer work, what kind of work do you do? Do you enjoy it and does it help you with anxiety?

I want to start doing more for my community, but I'm really scared. I did some volunteering before and it was an agonizing experience. My anxiety is crippling in these situations.

Something I would enjoy doing is entertaining kids by reading or performing for them. But kids are my worst SA nightmare. Babysitting is out of the question, at least not until I can fix my anxiety. I'd love to do something like this for the elderly too, but again, I wouldn't know how to go about it. I'm just not content sitting around wasting away anymore.
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Old 10-20-2013, 09:45 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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no i never leave my apartment
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Old 10-20-2013, 10:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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I've only had 1 volunteer job, I quit it because of the anxiety. It was a boring job of sorting clothes and I was just working along with a couple elderly people. I felt sort of safe doing that part of it, but there were other people around and if they got too close and started asking question or seeing other people that look like they were gonna talk to me made me really anxious and my throat close up. I quit it because it's almost harder in that sense where you are given a safe place and then have people floating around threatening to disturb it, it's almost easier to be thrown into something and have to deal with it on a constant basis.

I've looked for other volunteer jobs but I can't find anything. What I do find usually involves having to attend these meetings where they train you and I can't deal with being in groups of people. I have a hard enough time dealing with one on one interaction. It would also be nice to find volunteer work I'd actually enjoy, something more suited towards my interests, but it usually involves having to be trained in groups so I don't bother.
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Old 10-20-2013, 11:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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I went away to Central America and did volunteering there. It helped me SO much, and I met some amazing people, and realised that I can make decent friends. But my SA is quite mild, and I was really motivated to do it.
With community stuff, surely you aren't obligated to see it through? So give it a go, you will be glad that at least you tried.
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Old 10-20-2013, 11:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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My parents have been suggesting it, but I'm not really good at physical labor, and most of the other volunteers are always either much older or much younger than me...makes things awkward.
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Old 10-20-2013, 05:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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I did it in high school at a hospital but it was required then. Needless to say overall it was a very positive experience.

Now that I see this thread it's something I'm considering doing, I believe a person needs to be taken out of their surroundings to appreciate what they have even if it's not a lot
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Old 10-20-2013, 05:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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My first idea was going to be to work with kids, but I see that's out - for now. Maybe you can work with blind people. That probably sounds like a joke, and I have to admit, I think it's kind of a funny idea. That said, I'm totally serious. I wonder if you would be less anxious if the majority of the people around you can't see you.

I think there are a couple ways to go about finding volunteer work. You can choose whatever company or organization you want to work with and then check out their web sites, which often have volunteer needs listed or at least a contact person you can message (or maybe even call!). You can also go to the United Way web site and click on "volunteer." I've used the search engine before to see what kinds of volunteer opportunities there are, but I've never followed a lead I found there. I think it's pretty legit though.
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Old 10-20-2013, 05:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donnie in the Dark View Post
I went away to Central America and did volunteering there. It helped me SO much, and I met some amazing people, and realised that I can make decent friends. But my SA is quite mild, and I was really motivated to do it.
With community stuff, surely you aren't obligated to see it through? So give it a go, you will be glad that at least you tried.
Who pays for that?
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Old 10-20-2013, 05:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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I got fired from my volunteer work because I wasn't outgoing enough rofl.
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Old 10-20-2013, 05:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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I did, while at university, I enrolled i nthis program in which you go once a week at a this residential institution to do some activities to entertain a group of little girls. It was in groups, one coordinator, and four tutors (us).

It was a nice experience, you get to appreciate certain things in your life.
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Old 10-20-2013, 05:47 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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I volunteered at a zoo for about a year, and I recommend it to anyone. You learn about animals, and your job is basically to talk to everyone in sight, so you get pretty good at it. Even ended up getting a cute girl's number once.

If you're not comfortable enough to talk to people though, it might not be for you. At least not quite yet.
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Old 10-20-2013, 05:50 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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I don't, but I want to.
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Old 10-20-2013, 05:59 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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i help with with ***** m_e_e_t y-o-u-r-s-e-l-f pretty much every year. I can focus so hard when i am doing the task given to me i do not see or acknowledge the 10k people around me its actually silent in my mind. When im told to "get something" from another club (this means walking like a block or two threw lots and lots of people) I just pretend that i am perfectly invisible. This seems to work for me.

*added for name of city so it does not come up in google searches
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Old 10-20-2013, 06:09 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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I too wouldn't mind doing some volunteer work with children, but like with you the thought is a nightmare. Ideally I would be fine with it, and wouldn't be anxious, but in reality I'd struggle big time to communicate with the kids effectively. Also, if there were other adults present and able to hear me I would likely be very awkward.

Hospitals are often looking for volunteers, you could check that out if you're looking for a way to get involved. It could be something like answering phones, working a help desk, visiting the elderly, carting food trays, etc. I did this during high school to get my community service hours for graduation, and it wasn't too bad. Actually, I might look into it again.
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Old 10-20-2013, 06:38 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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I volunteer at a homeless animal shelter. I don't know if it helps with my social anxiety because it's working with animals rather than people, but I have fun doing it, and it helps to take away stress I think.
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Old 10-20-2013, 06:51 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Default Volunteering is Great

If you can do it volunteering at something that helps other people is really great: you can get out and be with people and hopefully do something that is useful and help someone out.

Despite my extreme introversion in the past I have volunteered in a lot of things: tutoring / teaching computer basic in a homeless shelter, working with handicapped kids, food and clothing distribution in a church, and even as a nurses aide in an emergency room ! ( honest ).

My problem was that when my anxiety would kick in some days, I absolutely would not want to volunteer and it could get very bad for me and I would just want to leave. At times my SA is not too bad, but other times it can consume me so volunteering like working at a paying job can get VERY stressful and agonizing.
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Old 10-21-2013, 01:37 AM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark101 View Post
Who pays for that?
:/ I did and now I'm BROKE. Well, I didn't have to pay to volunteer (I always think that is just crazy), but obviously flights and living expenses.... worth it because I really wanted a trip on my own, and to see some of Latin America.
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Old 10-21-2013, 01:45 AM   #18 (permalink)
 
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I have been thinking of putting my time in volunteering but I have yet to find one in my area without me looking for one. I did go to this one for feeding the homeless but when I got there I got kind of nervous seeing a lot of people and I just turn back home.
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Old 10-21-2013, 01:50 AM   #19 (permalink)
 
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I use to do it because i my depression was really bad and couldn't find a job. I did it to make myself worthy.
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Old 10-21-2013, 02:11 AM   #20 (permalink)
 
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I did it for some time, and I still go visit diffrent Places ones in a while. It's pretty cool that most of them still remember my name after a year, but then Again I'm like the only Young person who bothers to volunteer around here.
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