Brandon K. shares his adventures as a volunteer, his mental health journey, and the insights that he has gained along the way.
Q: How did you first become involved with Project Helping?
A: I first became involved with Project Helping while volunteering at the Action Center in Lakewood, CO. I enjoyed meeting the other volunteers and clients participating in the program there. I knew as soon as I left that day that I wanted to do this much more in the future.
Q: What made you want to volunteer originally?
A: I found myself feeling very depressed on my days off work when my daughter was at school. I tried a few different fitness activities, but I was still feeling down in the dumps. I found Project Helping online and just filled my time with as much volunteering as I could do. It improved my happiness drastically!
Q: What takeaways have you gotten from your volunteer experiences?
A: The most important takeaway I have gotten from volunteering was realizing that many of the others are also going through something in their lives mentally. We all have the same things in common. It’s like we are having a fun group therapy session because we all leave happier.
Q: Where is your favorite place to volunteer and why?
A: I love volunteering at DeLaney Farms in Aurora, CO. Not only am I learning a lot about organic farming, but I get to spend a few hours outside with a bunch of wonderful people. (I have the ultimate farmers tan now too!)
Q: Why do you think volunteering is important?
A: I think that volunteering creates a beautiful connection of feelings – feeling helpful, kind, strong – all while you are learning something new every time. It doesn’t feel so much like I’m helping but more like they are helping me.
Q: What does kindfulness mean to you?
A: Kindfulness means living your life while always hoping to put a smile on someone’s face every day. It’s being able to lend a hand without being asked. Doing something that you walk away from that makes your day better, without even making an effort.
Q: Have you struggled with mental health challenges in the past?
A: Yes, anxiety and depression have always been an issue for me. I’ve struggled with it since I was a young boy and recognize that it’s still very present in my life.
Q: Has volunteering had an impact on your overall mental wellness?
A: Absolutely! It is like therapy for me. And it’s free! I’m so happy I made the connection because now I’m forever grateful for Project Helping.
Q: What advice would you give to someone struggling with their mental health?
A: Get out there and find some local organizations to help out with, even for only a couple hours. Sometimes the best medicine is getting out there and volunteering. It’s been the only medicine that’s ever actually worked for me!
Huge thank you to Brandon for opening up and being willing to do an interview! Check out volunteer opportunities at projecthelping.org/volunteer-search/
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