By Jamie Portwood, Writespace Administrative Assistant
The word volunteer, by definition, is a person who freely offers to take part in an enterprise or undertake a task. In other words, a volunteer makes a gift of herself. A volunteer says, “I have these talents and abilities and I want to use them for a good purpose.” It is one of the only ways we can choose how our gifts and talents and abilities are used. That choice alone makes it an act of self-care. In fact, research shows that volunteering has immense health benefits, from decreasing the risk of depression to reducing stress to increasing a sense of purpose to developing relationships.
I know that volunteering with Writespace has done that and more for me. When I first moved to Houston, I felt disconnected and isolated, all alone in the fourth largest city in the country. By happy accident, I found a flyer for upcoming workshops at Writespace. I decided to take a workshop and loved it. I kept taking workshops. Then I noticed that Writespace was asking for volunteers.
It was, I think, the first time that I was grateful for the administration skills I had acquired as an office manager. As soon as I began volunteering with Writespace, I felt like I had been plugged in. I met other volunteers who became friends, instructors who became friends. I became a part of the thriving arts community in Houston. I found a purpose that fulfilled me like nothing else. I belong to an organization that supports writers like me. What greater joy than to be a part of an organization that has given so much to me and other writers!
Volunteering with Writespace was one of the best decisions I ever made.