Monday, June 5, 2017

Volunteering - It's good for us, and it's good for you too!

This week's blog is written by our dear friend and volunteer, Cathy Chung.  Cathy plugs in whenever and wherever she can... sometimes it's writing, sometimes it's in the kitchen, sometimes its planning and often it's digging!

My most vivid memory of my trips to Phnom Penh felt like a pajama party. I sat crocheting with a
group of giggling, chatty teenagers who could have been my daughter’s friends – mostly teens, but some were preteens. All these beautiful girls had been sex trafficked, and some were still trying to leave their trafficker.

My time with the girls was brief but made a huge impact - not on them, but on me. My heart was broken. I returned home wanting to do more, so I started volunteering with Amilia’s Light when it was launched in 2014. We are helping to empower trafficking survivors in Uganda and in the Boston area. 

Volunteering Has an Impact
We all want to make a difference in the world, don’t we? We want to help those in need. But a surprising benefit comes from having an impact on someone’s life: it’s invigorating. It feels good to ease someone’s burden.

Not only does it feel good, volunteering is good for your mind and health. Researchers at the London School of Economics found evidence that volunteering 1-2 hours weekly makes you happier.

Volunteering Builds Community

With consistent volunteering you form relationships with other workers and those you are helping, relieving feelings of loneliness and isolation. These relationships increase your social, and possibly professional, network, and give you an expanded safety net should you find yourself in need. 

In addition, Psychology Today cites an improved immune system and a lower risk of depression, anxiety, and dementia as benefits of consistent socializing.

Volunteering Lengthens Your Life
Your psychological health improves when you volunteer consistently. It helps build self-confidence; says the right match can reduce stress, combat depression, keep you mentally stimulated, and provide a sense of purpose. 

Your body instinctively knows volunteering is good. The London School of Economics research found that when you assist others, your body releases dopamine, which improves your mood and reduces stress. Helping others makes you happier, helps you deal with anger and anxiety, and lowers your blood pressure.

Volunteering with Amilia’s Light

I love gardening and call it dirt therapy. Several years ago I began potting and selling my surplus plants to benefit Amilia’s Light. It’s a win-win. I’m doing something I enjoy that also impacts a survivor’s life. I always look forward to our annual plant sale.  

Amilia’s Light can match you with a volunteer opportunity that matches your interests, expertise, and time commitment. We hope you’ll even have fun while knowing you’ve helped empower survivors of sex trafficking.

Love to entertain? 
We’re currently planning our Enchanted Evening Garden Party on June 17th
Help with food, decorations, shopping, setup and garden planting.
 Help Our Garden Party Grow and join the fun right away!

Creative?  Love to write? Social Media Your Thing? Graphic arts? 

Our supporters and our community want to be in the know and we like to keep things fresh and provide meaningful content on the website, blogs, social media and news resources. 

You can plug into many different opportunities at

We’d love to help you improve your health by finding the right volunteer opportunity. More options can be found at

 Tell us what's in your wheelhouse and we’ll suggest the perfect match!

Cathy Chung receives great joy by serving others and makes volunteering a full-time passion. She serves the homeless through her church, supports survivors of trafficking through Amilia’s Light and World Hope, and encourages people in faith through teaching, speaking and blogging. She loves gardening, hiking, and reading. Cathy is married with three nearly grown children and lives near Boston.

Connect with Cathy at:

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