Volunteering: A Cornerstone of Recovery

We said it before and we’ll say it again…

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Photo: Neal Kharawala

Community service is an essential element in the recovery process. Volunteering helps to offset that sense of stagnation while you might be waiting for your life to change. But more importantly, volunteering helps to establish (or re-establish) essential life-skills like those needed to get into the job-market. The demands of volunteer work simulate those found in many jobs, affording volunteers a better sense of what it actually would be like to return to work. Individuals can reap big rewards as a volunteer in learning new behaviors, new ways of thinking and new ways of modulating emotions. Additional benefits include learning how to manage time properly, and prioritizing one’s personal schedule outside of treatment to accommodate a volunteer schedule.

Social Adaptation in a Recovery-Oriented Lifestyle

Volunteering builds skills, contributes to others and adds value to your esteem. All opportunities are elected to enhance your skill set, increase your marketability as an employee, increase your personal knowledge base, and optimize your self-worth. Exposure to the process of growing accustomed to being a socially-challenging situations can help clients develop a more expansive and versatile set of social skills, as well as a broader support system. In fact, it is this broad support system that many of CHI’s clients have looked back on, once they have graduated, to see just how important it was. This experience can then translate into a real eye-opener in terms of illuminating the extent of personal problem areas that may need to be tackled.

How Volunteering Fits Into Your CHI Program

Your program is unique.  If you are not employed or in school full-time, and are not a custodial parent of young children at home, then you will likely value participation in a 20-hour per week volunteer regimen.  (If you are a parent or have conflicting employment, then your Program Manager may elect to reduce this commitment to accommodate your needs.)


You started out perfect! Your future is still ahead of you!

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Photo: Mi Pham


VOLUNTEER                                                                                                          CREATE OPPORTUNITIES


Help Animals. Photo: Jonas Vincent


Be in Nature. Photo: James Lock



Work with Special Needs.                               Photo: Nathan Anderson


Graduate! Photo: Jody Hong


Equine Therapy.                           Photo: Delfi de La Rua


Visit San Francisco! Photo: Chris Leipe



Work with Rescued Wild Animals. Photo: Wild Animal Sanctuary


Help keep our River clean. Photo: Nancy Birnbaum

Find Your Wave!