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4 Weeks of Giving at The Dorm

Est. reading time: 4 mins
Posted Under: Company, News/Statements

Clinically Reviewed by: Amanda Fialk, PhD, LCSW, LICSW

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Service is one of The Dorm’s core values and for years we’ve seen how volunteering and social responsibility has helped our clients deepen community fellowship and promote personal empowerment. With this in mind, this season our community is kicking off 4 weeks of giving with 4 local charitable partners. Each week we’ll focus on a single organization’s mission and focus our group efforts on donation drives and pack-ups for local delivery.

The Mental Health Benefits of Volunteering and Serving Others

Research shows that volunteering leads to lower baseline levels of depression and that when you help someone, your brain releases feel-good hormones into the body and creates spikes in brain activity. By instilling a sense of social responsibility through volunteering, young adults not only benefit therapeutically but also experience heightened self-esteem. These positive outcomes are a great step in breaking negative cycles of depression and anxiety during treatment and beyond.

Along the same lines, volunteering can help increase motivation by providing a sense of  self-efficacy. When you accomplish one small task – for example, writing a note to someone who is sick or dropping off groceries to someone in need – you begin a positive cycle of accomplishment that leads to personal growth and newfound confidence.

Service to others can also serve as a productive time to distract clients from destructive habits they’re trying to break. (And of course, many of us can attest to the power of distraction during times of crisis.) When you are engaged in personal or group volunteering, your mind is distracted from negative thinking and self-criticism. Taking a step back from daily life and spending time working with adults, children, pets, or in nature, offers young adults a moment of reprieve and meaningful connection with others. In short, serving others takes our mind away from our own worries and anxieties. 

“4 Weeks of Giving” – Supporting our Local Communities in NYC and DC

We believe that community service is one of the most profound ways we can give back and positively impact our greater community, and one of the unique benefits of city living is that many organizations looking for volunteers are right in our backyard!

At The Dorm, our coaches and community managers have developed a database of organizations that clients have loved working with in the past. (For individuals looking to get involved with a trusted organization, sites like VolunteerMatch or Charity Finder are a great place to start.)

New York City Organizations

STARS OF HOPE – ARTS FOR A CAUSE

Stars of HOPE is a non-profit organization that offers therapeutic art to communities impacted by natural or human-caused disasters. The goal of the program is to encourage hope and help survivors focus on emotional wellness through the creation of Stars. Group arts serve as a great bonding activity and opportunity to learn about communities going through difficult times, and how we can help.  Learn more and order a kit at StarsofHope.org.

MANHATTAN CHURCH OF CHRIST – FOOD DRIVE

This season we’re working with Manhattan Church of Christ to help raise supplies to build non-perishable meal bags to distribute to families in need throughout the colder months. The Dorm’s goal is to create 144 meal kits. Contribute to our Dorm Community Donation Drive here.

CARE FOR THE HOMELESS – TOILETRIES DRIVE

Care For the Homeless has met the medical, mental, and behavioral health care needs of people experiencing homelessness in New York City since 1985. They provide high quality health services to people experiencing homelessness, regardless of their ability to pay. Services include primary care, dental, behavioral health and podiatry.

Do you or a loved one need help with mental health?

The Dorm is here.

This season our goal is to assemble 140 personal hygiene kits including essentials like tooth brushes, pads & tampons. Contribute to our Dorm Community Donation Drive here.

TRUE COLORS RESIDENCE – CLEANING SUPPLIES DRIVE

Image via ESKW / Architects

​True Colors Residence (TCR), a project of West End Residences, was the first permanent supportive housing for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBTQ) youth with a history of homelessness. It was conceived in May 2007 by Cyndi Lauper, her manager Lisa Barbaris, a long time volunteer at West End, and Colleen K. Jackson, Executive Director of West End Residences.

Over the next 4 weeks our goal is to assemble 48 kits including essential cleaning supplies for their residents. Contribute to our Dorm Community Donation Drive here.

Washington, D.C. Organizations

MY SISTER’S PLACE DONATION DRIVE

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My Sister’s Place shelters, supports, and empowers survivors of domestic violence and their children by offering a continuum of care, including emergency shelters, transitional housing, case management, and counselors. They also provide training and advocacy opportunities to prevent violence and abuse. 

This season our community will collect new and unwrapped toys, diapers, shampoo & conditioner, body lotion, deodorant, and dental care supplies to their organization. Community members and others can also contribute to their Amazon wishlist.

FRIENDSHIP PLACE DONATION DRIVE

Corporate Partnerships - Friendship Place

Friendship Place provides housing for homeless or at risk individuals in DC, supporting individuals in finding homes, getting jobs, and connecting with community supports. The Dorm encourages our community to donate items on their Amazon Wishlist, and we will collect gently used clothing, non-perishable groceries, new socks, underwear, and teeshirts, and gift cards for their organization onsite.  

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