Through Helping Heals, Tuesday's Children has instituted international, domestic and local community service programs for both teens and adults. Through Rustic Pathways, our teen population has volunteered in impoverished communities in Costa Rica. Tuesday's Children teens traveled to New Orleans and have participated in Habitat for Humanity's post-Katrina rebuilding efforts. In addition, both adults and teens have participated in local community service projects through New York Cares and Children for Children.
Research indicates that giving something back to the community helps improve psychological mental health. Dr. Marylene Cloitre, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the NYU Child Study Center and a member of our Professional Advisory Board, said, "Those who engage in volunteer work experience a significant improvement in emotional well-being, self esteem, self worth and self efficacy. Importantly, volunteers develop a greater sense of purpose in life, achieve increased mastery over their lives and improved life satisfaction."
Rather than spend their school break with their friends, 22 teens spent the week helping others by building houses with Bay-Waveland Habitat for Humanity in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi in February of 2011.
During the week, the teens met the recipient of the home who visited the site daily. They got to know who they were hammering for, who would be living in the house. They were able to make a real connection.
When the teens were asked what they gained from the experience, Chelsea responded "new friends, new skills and an understanding of how one week of your time, can change someone else's life." Meagan shared "it made me thankful for the things I have at home."