Wood's Homes Blog

My experience as a youth mentor volunteer and an advocate for Wood’s Homes

April 22, 2020
By Taneya Hertz, Wood's Homes FASD Program Volunteer
My experience as a youth mentor volunteer and an advocate for Wood’s Homes

There is an innate bond that seems to occur among all members of Wood’s Homes. I have had the great privilege of experiencing this connection as a volunteer for roughly one year, during which I’ve gained an unprecedented admiration for the work done at Wood’s.

For those who are unfamiliar, Wood’s Homes could be described as a community of individuals, bonded by the common goal of helping families succeed. Volunteers within this community are provided the opportunity to be involved in a variety of programs geared toward supporting families with their mental health wellness. What I find most commendable about Wood’s Homes programs is that they are geared toward learning and development, striving to not only provide supports, but to also teach the community how to continue utilizing those supports at home!

As someone focused on a future in psychology, Wood’s Homes has become a cornerstone in my own growth and development. Though books can teach you a blueprint, volunteering at Wood’s allows you to learn what the day-to-day reality is for many families managing mental health.

Each time you volunteer, you find yourself learning the different nuances that impact various types of mental illness, learning strategies that can help people navigate obstacles, and getting to witness first-hand the strength and value of community.

Volunteers work alongside Wood’s staff who are always ready to educate, guide, and collaborate. Not only have the staff taught me something each time I’ve volunteered, but they have also allowed me the opportunity to bring ideas to the table!

Wood’s Homes truly understands the age-old concept that “it takes a village” and make the volunteers feel like concrete contributors to their teams.

If you are looking to work with families, then you should volunteer with Wood’s Homes. You will learn the perspectives of families, and how to guide them.

If you are looking for connection and community, then you should volunteer at Wood’s Homes. It is the foundation of all that they do.

If you are looking to grow your understanding of mental health wellness, then you should volunteer with Wood’s Homes. They teach skills that can benefit all.

Though I must warn you… if you’re seeking boredom, this is not the place for you!

In these volunteer roles you are not a robot checking tasks off of a list, rather, you are an engaged part of a group of individuals learning through a variety of fun activities. Depending on your role, activities might include group conversation where families have the opportunity to work with one another, or it might include learning through recreational activities!

In my own volunteer role, I have had a blast with families cooking, painting, playing games, going on nature walks, creating stories, and so much more! Between the support of the staff, the connections you build with families, and the activities you will do, volunteering with Wood’s homes is not a job, but rather a moment to stop and smile as you impact the world alongside a community of support and development!