Volunteer Profile: Lavanya finds purpose and fulfilment as a CASA volunteer

Lavanya Jain, a registered nurse, has been volunteering with CASA Mental Health since June 2020. She volunteers on a monthly basis with CASA, contributing more than 150 hours since joining the volunteer team.

Lavanya has supported many programs and events at CASA, including the 2022 CASA Thrive Gala and the inaugural CASA Golf Classic in Red Deer. She has provided more than 60 volunteer hours in childminding and support group assistance for CASA’s clinical programming, helping to reduce barriers for parents and caregivers to allow for undistracted participation in therapy.

She has also contributed more than 60 hours assisting the CASA Volunteer Resources department in developing a comprehensive volunteer manual — a guide of volunteer best practices, expectations for volunteering and ways to get involved at CASA.

What have been some favourite moments of yours while volunteering with CASA?

I did the Golf Classic in Red Deer. It was honestly so fun. I did the drive and there was really heavy rain that day and it was so nice to see so many people show up still, despite the rain. They were lucky enough to get the Donut Mill doughnuts. It was so nice to see everyone so happy. I do not think I could have gotten this sort of experience anywhere else.

What would you say is your biggest gain from volunteering at CASA? Is there an achievement or contribution that you are most proud of?

The volunteer manual. That is the one project where I cannot believe that I was a part of this. I cannot believe this is something that CASA is going to be posting and I have made such a huge contribution to.

With so many great organizations to support, why should others choose to support CASA?

If you are passionate about stepping out from your day-to-day routine and want to give back I think CASA is a great place to do that. You get to meet so many like-minded people who share the same passion. I have met so many people like that, we have just instantly clicked and you make really good friends. It is also a good place to network; it is really nice to gain experience in the mental health field.

It really gives you a sense of purpose and fulfilment for your personal self, too. I know CASA is great at that because the staff and everyone are just really nice. They actually really appreciate you and you always feel like ‘I did something great today’ when you are walking out from your shift.

How do you take care of your mental health?

I try to keep myself engaged in other activities. I have recently taken up oil painting. So sitting down and just painting I find really helps me. I like to read quite a lot. The other thing is I will volunteer. It has been really great for me, because it just gives me something to get out of the bed for and really look forward to.

For more information on becoming a CASA volunteer like Lavanya, visit casamentalhealth.org/volunteer.

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