Be the Change You Want to See–Through Volunteering

Last week, I wrote about our volunteer-based product experience team working furiously on our MVP.  Some of them are putting in as much as 20 hours a week! We are grateful for any donation of time, expertise, money and products. When I founded curaJOY and started ideating a digital program, friends questioned why I’d give up the clear potential profit and operate as a nonprofit.   I don’t have a short answer or proof that nonprofit tech is the “best” way for curaJOY to grow.

If you only have a week to live, what would you care about?  At the core of life are your values, relationships, and experiences.  I have been a lifelong volunteer. My success or income doesn’t preclude me from being a foster parent to over 20 feral kittens, pregnant cats, and 5 misbehaving, screaming, biting abandoned parrots. It was a lot of stinky, dirty and at times, physically dangerous work (one parrot almost bit my lip off).  I choose to volunteer because I WANT TO! It makes me happier when I create the world I want to see with my time and my action.  Abandoned and poorly conditioned animals need a place to rehabilitate and get adopted. So I show up, potty train and socialize them. I never once thought about asking those nonprofits for payment. In fact, I buy my fosters extra toys and fresh food to enhance their quality of life.  I show up and do the work because of all the times I wished somebody had been there for me.

It is a luxury to have the freedom to contribute towards a cause you champion. After all, that’s the reason why most people slave away at their jobs–to live securely, to be happy and to afford options in life.  

curaJOY gets a lot of volunteers who are looking to:

  • Keep up-to-date skillsets while they take time off from full-time work to be more hands-on in their family
  • Transition to another field and need to be given a chance to prove their potential
  • Retirees or semi-retirees who still got the fire to change the world.

Every time we get a volunteer, I cheer up a bit more.  It’s an affirmation that our mission to improve families’ emotional wellness is worth their time, and adds confidence to the decision that what we do shouldn’t be led by profits or investors.

Time is the most precious, limited resource you have.  Whatever you decide to do, be 100% present and give your best.   Nothing you do for yourself is ever lost.  It becomes who you are, so choose intentionally.

If you feel inspired to donate, click here; to volunteer for curaJOY, click here.

P.S.  I’ve also volunteered in soup kitchens and on trips to orphanages in Mexico, but those band-aid approaches of just providing the next meal frustrate me immensely. Some causes demand root-cause systemic change. Take the behavioral health crisis as an example, the rate of depression rose by more than 70% in teenagers, parents’ mental health has also declined sharply and there is a LONG waiting list for behavioral health services.  This is curaJOY’s area of work.  We could set up free counseling or mentoring to help those in need or even a peer counseling program.  That would improve access to behavioral healthcare, and I don’t deny the value of organizations providing those services.  There’s a place for everyone. But a big factor contributing to this crisis IS the shortage of behavioral health providers.  You can’t remedy a problem with something else that also has problems and is contributing to the original problem.  Big problems need systemic shifts and solutions that address the root causes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Image Icon
    curaJOY Organizes Global Emotional Wellness Directory For Underserved Communities

    curaJOY launches a free emotional wellness directory that gives marginalized communities access to global mental health providers and evidence-based methods. Nonprofit developer of the family emotional wellness platform Quest Depot, curaJOY, is launching its global emotional wellness directory, ensuring that Asian Pacific Islander, multicultural, cross-cultural, and third-world adults and children have access to inclusive and …

    Read More about curaJOY Organizes Global Emotional Wellness Directory For Underserved Communities

  • Image Icon
    Why can’t everybody just be more like me?

    I recently just finally got to watching the Galaxy of the Guardian series with my daughters. And one of them asks why the character Ego wants to destroy everything and make plans after himself.  As parents, we often have to answer difficult questions on the spot.  I said, “Haven’t we all gone through moments where …

    Read More about Why can’t everybody just be more like me?

  • Image Icon
    Write The Soundtrack of Your Life

    When you’re sad, mad, frustrated…, it can be hard to tell what will make you feel better. Maybe you want someone who will just listen without being too nosy, or you might tell yourself distractions like ice cream or TV will soothe, but sometimes, what we really need is time alone to write. This article …

    Read More about Write The Soundtrack of Your Life

  • Image Icon
    A person in need

    A few months ago, I was consoling a friend who had recently lost all her companions, been shunned out of school, and had rumors spread about them for just being themselves. Since COVID-19 quarantine was still going on, we could only communicate through text. She was thinking of suicide and I was just there, peppering …

    Read More about A person in need

  • curajoy a 3d illustration of a diverse group of AI therapists v c650b288 e8f4 4e29 b00f e04382103b0c curaJOY
    The circular economy isn’t anything fancy.  Circular is the way life works!

    When I entered Johns Hopkins wanting to become a developmental psychologist, my mom said, “You’re too smart to become a shrink. How will you find a job and have a future? Don’t waste your intelligence!” So I switched to Neuroscience and International Studies (Hopkins’s go-to major for future I-bankers.)  She was partially correct. All my …

    Read More about The circular economy isn’t anything fancy.  Circular is the way life works!

  • stuffing stupid curaJOY
    Perspective-Taking To a Happier You (and Those Around You)

    Do you ever notice that your kid, cat, dog, or parrot doesn’t want to play with the expensive toys you bought especially for them but prefers commonplace objects that you use daily, like your laptop, cell phone, or report printout? (My kids and pets have killed many keyboards, laptops and phones.) Children learn more from …

    Read More about Perspective-Taking To a Happier You (and Those Around You)

  • Image Icon
    Get 24/7 Emotional Wellness & Clinical Psychology App For Mental Health Therapy

    If you or someone in your family is struggling with mental health, and you don’t know where to go or who to turn to, try the comprehensive Quest Depot behavioral health program from curaJOY. Long wait times, complicated insurance processes, and plain old shame are just some of the many reasons why people hesitate or …

    Read More about Get 24/7 Emotional Wellness & Clinical Psychology App For Mental Health Therapy

Be Well

Subscribe to our newsletter to feel, connect and function better as a family.

A 501(c)3 non-profit that leverages cutting-edge technologies and proven behavioral health practices to create root-cause solutions to improve families’ emotional wellness and behavioral healthcare equity.