Giving back is something we all wish we did more of, I’m sure. But did you ever think about contributing your professional skills? Using your abilities to help others who may not otherwise receive education on particular topics or services to improve well-being is a great way to give back and continue to make a difference. It’s not always about giving money. Giving our time to a worthy cause is time well spent. It’s an important part of our own well-being – to know that what we do matters to make the difference in others’ lives.
Here are some basic suggestions of ways you may be able to use your professional knowledge, skills, or abilities to help others outside of your work environment:
Organize health screenings or teach an educational workshop: Visit an under-served population that might not otherwise receive much-needed health education or critical services. As I’ve discussed in Unnatural Causes, diabetes, cardiovascular issues and other preventable chronic diseases are elevated among minorities living in urban areas. Why not arrange a weekly program or series of workshops that would help them become informed to make good lifestyle choices.
Teach a fitness class: Many new professionals are looking to gain experience teaching yoga, Pilates, or other physical activity classes. Find a local church or assisted living facility whose residents would welcome this type of program. It enriches their lives while giving you the chance to hone your skills.
Support an organization: The American Heart Association and The American Red Cross are two non-profit organizations who are always looking to train new volunteers that can then go out into the community and teach lifesaving skills.
Promote worthwhile causes and events: As an allied health professional, identifying and participating in worthwhile causes should be part of your personal mission. Many organizations may match up with your own values. Partnering and promoting causes and events can be mutually beneficial.
The list could go on as to what you might be able to contribute to others. Look at your own priorities and see where you may be able to reach out and help. Surprisingly, you might be the one to gain as much, or more, than those you are helping.