Monthly Archives: April 2013

Volunteering Opportunity in the Bay: The Marine Mammal Center


I spent this last weekend in San Francisco playing tourist with my husband and some family friends. I’ve been to SF on several occasions, but somehow, going to Chinatown, Market Street, and the famous Pier 39 is always an exciting moment. This trip was uniquely special, as I have never traveled to San Francisco this early in the year. One of my favorite parts of San Francisco is Pier 39—the beautiful view of the ocean, Alcatraz, and the best part—the sea lions that reside on the docks next to Pier 39.

Pier 39

I’ve only seen a few sea lions here and there on my previous trips, but this time, the docks were covered with sea lions taking siestas and sunbathing. Being a lover of animals, I became excited immediately. I’m curious about animals I don’t see on a regular basis and enjoy watching their interactions. After minutes of gazing, curiously watching their every move, and taking what seemed like a hundred photos, my husband and I finally were on our way. As we walked away, I read history boards explaining how the sea lions came to be on this specific dock and why they are there, and so on. I was surprised to find out that one certain nonprofit organization helps ensure the safety of these few 300 sea lions that have made this dock their home.

The Marine Mammal Center is a nonprofit organization located in San Francisco bay area, on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge in Sausalito. This organization offers a multitude of protection for these curiously precious creatures. The purpose of the organization is to share knowledge about marine mammals, their health, and that of their environment, and encourage the global conservation of these animals and their environment.

Initially, the organization was founded by three local citizens, and has expanded its program within its 600 mile operating range. Now, the organization relies heavily on its 1,000+ volunteers who help rescue and rehabilitate injured sea lions, and also participate in the educating portion of the organization’s duties. These people volunteer because they are passionate about the work they do and believe their hard work is being done for good.

It was an incredible thing to learn about and truly touched my heart. I was unaware of all the work that went into conserving the health of these animals, and was impacted to find out the amount of effort by caring humans that is put into this organization.

Pier 39 sea lions

If you are like me, and love animals, I encourage you to seek organizations that are similar to this one. If you are from the bay area, go to the Marine Mammal Center and find out more information here—find out how you can help and become involved.

If you don’t live in the area, check out the website and see how else you can be involved—attend an eventbecome a member, or Adopt-a-Seal.

Find your calling! Find your passion and pursue it!

Have a great day and a great week!


Reno Artown Volunteering Opportunities


March 20th officially marked the beginning of spring, and like any other normal human, I too want to be spending the majority of my time outside, enjoying the warmth of the sun as it penetrates my skin. Spring time offers a variety of activities to engage in as the weather begins to warm up, people begin to fill the streets, and flowers begin to bloom. Every city has its extraordinary mass of events to take part in, and Reno is no different from any other city!

Spring and summer in Reno is a dream come true for all the nature hikers, bikers, walkers, swimmers, lake-goers, or just the simple person who loves to be outside. Reno weather may be crazy and unpredictable at times, but when it comes to summer, the beautiful warm weather makes the day great, no matter what you’re doing.

Among the many activities to engage in, one of the most popular events that take place in the heart of downtown Reno is Reno Artownweb-Artown This event takes place in the month of July in which works of art created by artists from all around the world, across the country, and even within the Reno community are shared with the community, travelers who come specifically for the event, and even passersby who just happened to be in the area.

Artown 2012 featured nearly 500 different events, and 100 workshops, all of which were hosted by organizations and businesses of Reno and surrounding cities. This month-long art festival is greatly organized and planned to the core. Each event is carefully managed and aided by volunteers—volunteers who are a big part of the success of the events. Each year, Artown seeks volunteers to help maintain the success of events through the month of July. Some of the responsibilities of these volunteers include greeting guests, collecting event tickets, assisting with seating, providing information to guests, and aiding performers, along with other similar tasks. Being a volunteer for Artown is a great way to engage in a diversely cultural setting as well as serve for a purpose and enjoy an amazing event. If you are interested in volunteering this summer, click here to find out more information on what you do and who to talk to. Reno Artown is a big summer event for the community. It’s a great place to relax, enjoy some form of artwork, and create memories, either as a volunteer or a spectator.

I hope you’ll consider being a part of Reno’s local event. Please check out the website for Artown and check out the volunteer section to see what is it that volunteers do. It may be the perfect summer activity you are looking for.

If you have volunteered or been a part of the Reno Artown festivals in the past, please share your experience below in the comment box.

Have a great day!

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Your Health: The Benefits That Come From Volunteering


People want to be healthy. They always have, and they always will. But being healthy isn’t just about eating right, or exercising to be fit. There are other ways to sustain good health—physical and mental. According to The Health Benefits of Volunteering: A Review of Recent Research, there is a strong connection between good health and volunteering, so much that those who volunteer, in comparison with those who don’t, have lower rates of mortality and depression. Good for the Soul There have also been several studies showing that age groups are affected differently by volunteering. Older volunteers, for example, are more likely to have greater benefits from volunteering either because they are faced with a higher incidence of illnesses or simply because their mental and social activity has given them a sense of purpose during a time when their roles in society require less of them.

How much time do you reserve for volunteer purposes annually? According to the studies presented in the above report, an individual who dedicates at least 100 hours of their time to volunteer work has higher health benefits than the individual who dedicates less. Specialized surveys have been conducted to evaluate the benefits of volunteering by measuring the benefits of the volunteer activities and the impact those activities have on the community. What the surveys revealed was that those who volunteered attained greater health benefits than those who were the recipients of the support given through the activities.

Specifics about your Mental Health and Physical Well-Being

As I mentioned before, volunteering has a number of positive effects—specifically, volunteering can impact your psychological state in an effective manner. Some psychological factors could be a sense of accomplishment and a sense of purpose. Volunteering also has its social benefits. Because volunteering usually requires human interaction, there is always a chance for social networking, which can help shield stress and reduce the risk of disease. All of these positive social psychological factors are also directly correlated to your physical well-being and can decrease the chances of poor health conditions.

Social integration theory, which includes volunteering, social psychological factors, and social networks, is described as “the extent to which an individual participates in a broad range of social relationships.” (Cohen, Underwood, & Gottlieb, 2000) According to Social Support Measurement and Intervention: A Guide for Health and Social Scientists, having a sense of purpose and satisfaction in your life reduces the chances for illness, risk for disease, and depression; and those who are more socially integrated in life live longer.

Just remember: Those who give of themselves also receive.

According to what I have stated, do you agree with my suggested points? Do you believe that volunteering leads to health benefits or is a healthy individual more likely to volunteer due to their healthy state? Share your thoughts below!

Have a great, and HEALTHY, day!

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