Give a little, get a lot
Volunteering can give you a healthy distance from your own worries by allowing you to focus on others.
Following the earthquake in Haiti in January, many Kaiser Permanente doctors and nurses responded to provide medical care to victims of the disaster. Hernando Garzon, MD, an emergency medicine physician at our Sacramento Medical Center, was one of them.
“Despite the tragedies I saw, I came back rejuvenated,” he says. “The personal rewards that come with being of service to others are beyond measure. The satisfaction of helping somebody else will stay with me all my life.”
Kaiser Permanente emergency medicine physician Suzy Fitzgerald, MD, says the experience of serving in Haiti has made her cherish her own life more.
“I appreciate the things we usually take for granted like food, water, shelter, and heat,” she explains. “I’ve come back a better doctor, more flexible, understanding, and energized.”
While most of us aren’t trained to respond to major disasters, everyone has something to give. Whether you volunteer to help children, seniors, animals, or the environment, you make a difference in your community.
And don’t forget: You can volunteer at many Kaiser Permanente facilities, just search for Volunteer Services. Or look for other opportunities to volunteer in your area.