Research on volunteerism shows volunteers enjoy better overall health, a sense of achievement, greater life satisfaction, larger social networks, and higher self-esteem (Barlow, 2005). In fact, volunteering is so successful at helping the volunteers themselves that current studies are now specifically looking at volunteering as a means of coping and success in the context of chronic disease management. Some studies show a “pronounced improvement on confidence, self-awareness, self-esteem, depression and role functioning” and reveal that participants enjoy “dramatic change in their lives in terms of how they thought of themselves and in how they related to others.” So all of this begs the question:
How might YOUR disease path change if you were more connected to the mission of helping others and improving outcomes for the IPPF community as a whole?
You probably don’t need a ton of convincing. For you, it may more be a matter of finding the time and the right opportunity to use your skill set. Trust us. . . you have skills you can share with the IPPF and put to good use. And there are few organizations out there which could use that energy more than we can! Volunteering for you might be as simple as giving literature to area dermatologists and dentists or trying to talk with them for a few minutes about the disease. It might be doing a “low stress” fundraiser.
Or, maybe you are up for a bigger challenge in response to a need you see–like the need to start a local area support group or become a patient speaker to educate young doctors in training. No matter what your personal goals or strengths, you have something to give. So, as you ease into the new year or just prepare for Fall, remember that volunteering gives you the opportunity to:
S hare Strengths
E mpower Yourself
P romote Positivity
T each Tolerance
E ngage Others
M eet Challenges
B e the Change
E xpress Yourself
R each Out
If you are interested in getting started, visit pemphig.us/volunteerIPPF for some ideas. You can also contact Will Zrnchik by emailing him at email@example.com, calling (855) 4PEMPHIGUS (855.473-6744), or talking with your Peer Health Coach about volunteering!