When you are lonely ,why not try something different? Volunteer.

@Hatley (164507)
Garden Grove, California
October 12, 2009 7:09pm CST
Reading some older discussions I noticed so many people' are lonely and there were great ideas put forth to help cure loneliness. But I remember that there are a lot of places that always need people to volunteer? and what better way to get outside yourself and your own problems than to help someone else. Volunteers are needed in all the various hospitals,and some nursing homes. When you do something to help another person you get paid big rewards, and you find you are no longer lonely.
7 people like this
30 responses
@littleowl (7157)
13 Oct 09
Hi Hatley, I haven't done volunteer work but just helping friends etc when ill or needing the help I get so much satisfaction from the way they are so happy and appreciative for the help they may not of got from someone else...it makes you think sometimes even though you are not paid as a volunteer you are in another way..from seeing the happy appreciative and thankful ways others are for your help...LoLo
@Hatley (164507)
• Garden Grove, California
13 Oct 09
hi littleowl it is the same thing, I remember once when I and my hubby helped this family out who had lost their apartment and the church had found them new quarters. we used our own pickup and my hubby and I moved their stuff in for them and it was so fulfilling as they were now once more in an apartment with their two little kids. We got paid by their smiles and their laughter and it was really so great.
1 person likes this
@littleowl (7157)
13 Oct 09
That was lovely of you Hatley, and can imagine the joy of the family having somewhere to live...it must of been a great blessing....hugs LoLo
3 people like this
@Hatley (164507)
• Garden Grove, California
13 Oct 09
yes we became friends with them and I felt so sad when the husband got a real good job and they moved away. I missed them, specially the little kids.
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (49877)
• United States
13 Oct 09
A couple of years ago I volunteered to be a Big Sister. I went in for the interview and everything seemed to go so well. But then they asked me if I had any health problems. When I got to the part about me being bipolar, I saw her face change. She told me that I wouldn't qualify because of my "mental illness." 'Cause you know me, I'm just unstable. Shoot, I'm more normal than most people with absolutely no health problems. Now I can't see myself volunteering. I have another back surgery October 19th, and that will be quite painful to come back from. I have taken the job in my church though for sending cards. You know, sending cards to people in the church who are sick, sending cards to people who gave prayer requests, sending postcards to people who visited...I really like encouraging people. I haven't been to church in a month myself because of the back issues.
3 people like this
@Philbo (579)
• Canada
13 Oct 09
Sending card and all at church is a really great thing to do. Encouraging other is a gift. The world needs more people who encourage others. Getting ripped for being bipolar certainly isn't encouraging. I do know a woman who is bipolar who really went through some difficult times. She did get help and last time I saw her she was in the paper starting a volunteer organization of her own. Their goal was to help people with a variety of problems get the help that is available through government programs but because of bureaucracy usually doesn't get delivered to the people who actually need the help.
2 people like this
@Hatley (164507)
• Garden Grove, California
13 Oct 09
hi ambiepam that was so unkind of them. I have a lot of friends who are bipolar and I would never have known it had they not told me.one is one of the smartest guys I know too.NO you are in no condition to do that now Ambie Pam I am sure you have more than done your bit over the years.But what you are doing doing now in the church seems really great to me,encouraging people is really very helpful. My roommate here just had back surgery about a month ago. she is doing fine now but still has some pain. I think she sort of overdoes things a bit.
3 people like this
13 Oct 09
Hi Hatley, That is a very godd advice, there is so much people can do to help others as well as helping themselves, I myself has done such things when I used to work as a cleaner in an old people's home, some of them cannot remember why they are there and always saying they have to get home to cook, but I always stay back after my work and keep them company sometimes read to them, I made so many good friends there and made them laugh too, sadly the place is closed and I'm no longer working because of my disablity but it was very up lifting, people should try it, it will make a big difference to their lives, thank you Hatley. Tamara
@Hatley (164507)
• Garden Grove, California
13 Oct 09
hi tamara I used to work out of a nurses registry as a nurse's aide and I found that most all of the elderly people in those'homes were so lonely, and some of them were only there because their family could not both work and care for them too. I always tried to take time out to just talk for a short while and they always appreciated it, and would give me big smiles.One of the nurses told me she wished the registry would send more aides like me so they could brighten up more of the old folks days. I felt more rewarded by their smiles and grabbing my hands than from my small paycheck. it was a real find for me.
2 people like this
@dragon54u (31634)
• United States
13 Oct 09
I might do some of that this winter. With gasoline rising again, our meals on wheels programs are going to be short of delivery people again. I don't get lonely, but I spend most of my time alone and I know that's not good for me. Since there's no employment here, I might as well be of some use to someone!
3 people like this
@Hatley (164507)
• Garden Grove, California
13 Oct 09
hi dragon54u Meals on Wheels is so great,when my husband was waylaid with a colostomy they brought hot meals to him while' I was at work so I did not have to worry a bout him, and he 'was fed hot good meals too. I know the lAdy that brought them 'was always smiling andseemed to love what she did.
1 person likes this
@meapas (2434)
• India
13 Oct 09
Yes you are right. You can do lot by helping others. Helping others will help you forget your worries and soon you will realise how small your problems when compared to other's problems are. Hope this discussion is well read by all here at mylot. If you have the will you have the way.
@Hatley (164507)
• Garden Grove, California
13 Oct 09
I have known several young women who got turned on to nursing because they had volunteered to work with patients in the hospital, passing out magazines and fetching sodas and snacks for the patients. they all said that they were so glad that they had volunteered.
1 person likes this
@meapas (2434)
• India
13 Oct 09
Not only women even men are there who enjoys helping others. For them it is just a way of life. A very healthy hobby indeed. It is because of these people we are still living in a world of humans. Let us all take a leaf from such people's life.
2 people like this
@Hatley (164507)
• Garden Grove, California
22 Oct 09
hi meapas I always love it when I see men volunteering. one of the best nurses aides I met when I was last ill in the hospital was a young man who had a rich sense of humor. I was really quite ill and feeling a bit down but he would come in and say something and I would be laughing my head off. He would grin and say, you're funny. what a lad.
1 person likes this
@suzzy3 (8357)
13 Oct 09
You are so right about the lonliness on here,I am lucky with my life.Normally got someone knocking the door down to get in for a coffee and a chat.I thought about volunteering when I first gave up work but have been so busy it has amazed me.It is a great thing to do to help others and make friends share interests and do something worthwhile,good discussion.
2 people like this
@Hatley (164507)
• Garden Grove, California
8 Dec 09
hi suzzy3 yes the lonely person who has no one to come chat with them needs people so volunteering puts her or him in touch with other p eople plus doing some good for someone else.its a great feeling and it takes the alone feeling away too as you are communicating and talking to other people.
• China
13 Oct 09
Yes,that is extremly right.As you pay for anyone else,the reward will warm your heart and you will leave away of lone.There are so many people need help in todays world,you just to sacrifize a little in your life,they would get huge asists.
@Hatley (164507)
• Garden Grove, California
13 Oct 09
yes victory999 what goes around comes around.if you do good for others,it will always come back as good for you too. It pays in ways that money cannot and you lose any sense of loneliness as you are thinking and doing for others.
1 person likes this
@kmaram (2535)
• Philippines
13 Oct 09
I never experience to work as a volunteer but i wish i could. Now, especially in Manila area needed more volunteers for the typhoon Ondoy and Pepend. Volunteer to repack food like rice, can goods, dress, and others. I wish i can participate and devote my time but its too far in my place. I know in this time of loneliness that i am going through now will help me somehow to forget my problem. I am salute those volunteers who are doing their job without any amount involve.
2 people like this
@Hatley (164507)
• Garden Grove, California
13 Oct 09
hi kmaram I am sure you do do the best you can, and my heart and prayers go out to you and all the p eople in the disaster area. I have a lot of filipino friends on my mylot list, and have been so worried for them and their families. wish I had money or goods to send but alas I do not. nothing but my prayers if that will help any.I also salute all the volunteers there and wish them all 'well.
1 person likes this
@Philbo (579)
• Canada
13 Oct 09
Bingo! Great discussion topic. Volunteering is one of the best ways to not be lonely. Had a babysitter long time ago who was divorced and was constantly moaning about how lonely she was. I told her to start doing volunteer work. Her life to that point consisted of staying at home feeling sorry for herself and dating losers from whatever dating service she signed up with the most recently. I don't know how far she took my advice but I hope she did. Her self esteem was really low. I told her volunteering would help her see what a terrific person she could be. Better yet while doing good for others she just might meet another terrific person instead of these unbelievable morons she kept finding at the dating services. Just to keep things in perspective. I know everyone wants a soul mate but it is important to do something with yourself that makes you feel valued when your by yourself.
2 people like this
@Hatley (164507)
• Garden Grove, California
13 Oct 09
hi philbo thanks I just know that it can be so rewarding' and a lot of people have actually been turned onto going'into'nursing after having volunteered in a' hospital. You just never know what you might learn or find when volunteering.
1 person likes this
@GreenMoo (11842)
23 Oct 09
I couldn´t agree with you more Hatley, and I think this is superb advice. Obviously not everyone has the time or the ability to volunteer, but all of us could reach out to another person. I used to volunteer for a charity which got groups of otherwise housebound elderly folk together for tea and a chat. It was a very small commitment for me, just a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon once a month and the use of my car and fuel. But it was remarkably rewarding and I enjoyed it very much. I met many interesting new people, both the elderly who I drove and the other volunteers, and had some fascinating conversations.
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@Hatley (164507)
• Garden Grove, California
31 Oct 09
hi greenMoo when I worked in the library I became acquainted with the friends of the Library and met some of the nicest women,.when we were short of pages,some of them helped me to shelve books and we had a good time chatting while we shelved. They did that because they wanted too, and got no pay for it , but they all told me they just enjoyed getting out and helping. they mended books, they sorted books to put on carts for us paid employees and they also manned the bookstore too.
@GreenMoo (11842)
7 Dec 09
I´d love to spend some time working in a library. I volunteered in a charity shop for a while, and really looked forward to the occassions where I was responsible for setting out and sorting the donated books.
1 person likes this
@Hatley (164507)
• Garden Grove, California
8 Dec 09
in our area the friends of the library are always looking for volunteers as they mend books, sort out things, help shelving and prepare new books to be put into the system. they do this then push the carts over to circulation who put the finishing touches on the new books then if the pages are short one person a volunteer will help shelve them also.the friends also run a used book store that benefits the library. so they always need new helpers.
@MsTickle (24983)
• Australia
15 Oct 09
Hi Hatley...you are right. Earlier this year I became a volunteer driver for a health and community care association in the next town. It has changed my life. Because the town I live in is classified remote, the elderly or disabled or those without the means can be driven to shopping or doctors appointments or similar. Getting to know people in my community, whom I normally would not come into contact with is proving really enjoyable. One of the trips I do is an 8 hour round trip...plenty of time there to swap stories. I feel needed and valuable and to know I am helping is a good feeling.
1 person likes this
@Hatley (164507)
• Garden Grove, California
31 Oct 09
hi MsTickle we have a thing here paid for by medical that sends out free minivans to take various ones of us to our doctor appointment, and I met some of the nicest drivers that way,they 'were so kind and courteous. now my hmo put a snafu in that so I have to take the access bus,they are nice enough but it costs me 2;75 each way so eats up a big chunk of money. but these free rides I think are paid something by medical here. but I am so all for volunteering as it pays dividends for both the volunteer and the other persons too.
1 person likes this
@Canellita (12058)
• United States
15 Oct 09
This is excellent advice! It is not only a way to feel good it is a good way for someone to expand their social circle and meet new people. Volunteering can lead to all sorts of things; even a new job!
1 person likes this
@Hatley (164507)
• Garden Grove, California
8 Dec 09
hi canellita yes when we make some one else happy we make 'ourselves feel good too. also you meet new people and if you need a job you can even network with some of the people you meet. my son had several great jobs he got from networking with people he had met volunteering.
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
13 Oct 09
When my daughter had to do some volunteer work for school, she was talking about helping out an elderly person, but we didn't know who to get in touch with to set it up. So we ended up volunteering at a cat rescue organization. We are still doing it.
1 person likes this
@Hatley (164507)
• Garden Grove, California
8 Dec 09
hi dawnald I would think that would be really fun to volunteer 'in a cat rescue organization. I would love to do something like that but I am a bit too handicapped. You must get a lot of pleasure out of it and fun too. I know I am a real cat lover, I like dogs too but the very thing about cats that they own you, thats what makes me love them so. they are their own persons.
• United States
13 Oct 09
I completely agree with you. Everyone wins with volunteering. Not only will it give you personal satisfaction by being able to help those who are in need, it will also be extremely beneficial for you. Volunteering is a great opportunity to make friends, which helps alleviate long term loneliness. It will also give you valuable experience which you can put on your resume should you search for another job. References too. I got the job I have now by volunteering in college and after- without that volunteer activity I am sure i would still be unemployed.
1 person likes this
@Hatley (164507)
• Garden Grove, California
8 Dec 09
hi winddancer1323 yes we all win when we volunteer. we feel satisfied and we help others. I have seen teens who volunteered in hospitals go on and become nurses. you do get valuable ' experience that can really help in getting jobs too.
@cynthiann (18619)
• Jamaica
13 Oct 09
This is so true Hatley. when you are doing something for another person then everyone feels good. The person receiving and th person giving. We have to help each other all of our lives because this is what Jesus asked us to do. He commanded us to love one another and we do this by helping one anther. Great post. You are right on the ball
1 person likes this
@Hatley (164507)
• Garden Grove, California
8 Dec 09
hi cynthiann yes its really doing what Jesus taught us we should do , thats why we feel so good when we do it, and we receive so many blessings too.Libraries, schools, hospitals, dog centers,there are a lot of opportunities to help.
@blueunicorn (2409)
• United States
13 Oct 09
That is a GREAT idea! Thank you for pointing this out to people. I have volunteered for years in different areas and met some great people. I have more events happening than I know what to do with, so I don't have time to be lonely. You don't only have to volunteer in the medical field, either. I volunteer at an elementary school and for a dog rescue group. There are MANY opportunities to find things that are of interest to you!
1 person likes this
@Hatley (164507)
• Garden Grove, California
8 Dec 09
hi blueunicorn oh I love unicorns anyway thats right theres a lot of places besides hospitals that need volunteers, and working with dogs oh wow I would like that but I am partly handicapped 'so it might be a problem. but what great opportunities as not everyone wants to be in a medical situation. schools all need volunteers too. thanks for the help.
@vopols (204)
• Philippines
13 Oct 09
Good day to you my friend. Yes I agree with you about being a volunteer in order for a person not to be lonely. But there are people who are lonely but yet they prefer to be alone and try nto avoid individuals to mingle with them especially these individuals who are depressed and needs to be alone in order to reflect things. But there are also lonely people who lacks social support from their parents or loveones and so beinbg a volunteer is an outlet for them not to be lonely.
1 person likes this
@Hatley (164507)
• Garden Grove, California
8 Dec 09
hi volpols ah yes the depressed are a whole different thing and I know ihave been there too, but eventually they have to join society one way or another.best to see their doctors'as it can be treated. but for those who are just lonely helping someone else can take their mind off themselves. they get involved and realize it really feels good to make someone else happy and loved.there is no other feeling quite like that.for awhile they are not thinking just of themselves.
@cwong77 (2011)
• Malaysia
13 Oct 09
This indeed a very very good idea of to kill some time. Actually, it's very satisfying to volunteer in some homes and care for others. I was once a volunteer too, and I think those time were very very fruitful for me during those periods while I was volunteering.
1 person likes this
@Hatley (164507)
• Garden Grove, California
7 Dec 09
volunteering takes you out of yourself so you feel' for the people you are helping and that feeling can go on and on. like in pass it forward, one good deed causes another and so it goes on and on helping people help themselves by helping others.
@savak03 (6681)
• United States
13 Oct 09
That is a very good point you made. In fact many counselors tell their patients that are suffering from loneliness and low self esteem to to look for opportunities to help others who are in worse shape than them. I think this is very sound therapy because when you help someone else you can't help but feel good about yourself.
1 person likes this
@Hatley (164507)
• Garden Grove, California
7 Dec 09
hi savak when you take time to help someone else,you do get paid and so does the person you helped. sometimes they go on to help others so it is passed forward, nothing is lost, and you gather riches of the heart as your reward.
@sweetie1026 (1723)
• Philippines
13 Oct 09
I think that is a great idea, Hatley. Helping out others is so rewarding, though you do not even know them personally. Seeing them smile at you without even saying anything is so heartwarming because you know they appreciate what you did to them and i am a firm believer of paying it forward. One day the favor or deed you gave to them, they in return do it to others too and it will surely take your mind from thinking about your loneliness or problems.
@Hatley (164507)
• Garden Grove, California
7 Dec 09
hi sweetie yes its truly rewarding and sometimes those you help go on to help others so it is paid forward, and sometimes'keep on going helping others more and more nothing is lost when you volunteer as you get back 'riches of the heart instead of just money.