Ghandi once so wisely said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” This quote rings exceptionally true in the lives of Great Shape! Inc. volunteers! Through the many years we’ve served the great community of Jamaica, our volunteers always return to their home soil feeling forever changed and impacted by their experiences.

Even so, giving of oneself to improve the life of another can seem like a daunting task. Especially for first-time volunteers, traveling abroad to serve an unfamiliar environment can be overwhelming. Those who have volunteered many times before can feel just as anxious when boarding a plane to serve abroad.

But not to worry! Our Great Shape! Inc. team has a few words of advice suitable for any incredible volunteer. Whether you’re prepping for your first or sixth time volunteering abroad, be sure to read our “Guide to Volunteer Success” to create a memorable humanitarian experience!

Great Shape! Inc.’s “Guide to Volunteer Success:”

  1. Keep an OPEN MIND

Volunteering comes with great opportunities, experiences, and lessons that are often far outside your comfort zone. Learn to embrace the journey with a positive and welcoming outlook!

  1. “WE, not a ME”

Choosing to volunteer is an opportunity to focus our energy toward caring for others. As service is rooted in community, place yourself in a “WE, not ME” state of mind. This means serving with the intent to benefit the communal good of the world around you. Remember- it’s all about ONE love, ONE family!

  1. Reflect

Volunteering can bring great life-changing experiences that may require some reflection. Once the day is done, it’s a great idea to create some quiet time to write in a journal or meditate by the sea or talk it out w/ a friend. On some Great Shape! projects, debrief sessions are actually facilitated by a team leader. These exercises can instill new perspectives that can shape your experience into something truly meaningful!

  1. Inspire Curiosity

NEVER be afraid to ask questions! Curiosity is born out of seemingly regular tasks, concepts, and new ventures. Volunteering is an experience of learning… Ask and you shall receive!

  1. LOVE

Choose to serve with love! Make a conscious effort to tap into the deepest parts of your heart and let your caring self SHINE! If you are able to love deeply and care wholeheartedly, your time as a volunteer will certainly be worthwhile.