For 47 years, Shanti Peer Support Volunteers have been providing emotional and practical support to people living with life-threatening illness, as well as LGBT isolated seniors and adults with disabilities, much like you would support a friend or family member in need. If you would like to tangibly enhance the life of someone who needs it the most, we encourage you to contact us and learn more about this truly unique opportunity.
As a peer support volunteer, you will: --Go through the internationally-recognized Shanti Model of Peer Support training --Be matched 1-on-1 with a client to whom you will provide companionship, a non-judgmental ear and light practical assistance --Join a community of thoughtful, supportive volunteers and staff
For this program, we ask for a commitment of 2 hours a week for at least 6 months. We also organize support groups once a month, and ask all volunteers to attend. The hours can be done according to volunteer's schedules--a lot of our volunteers visit their clients on weekends or evenings--so it's definitely flexible.
If you decide to enroll in the Peer Support Program there is a mandatory volunteer training. Each interested volunteer must attend ALL of the following training dates:
JULY PEER SUPPORT VOLUNTEER TRAINING Saturday, July 24th 10:00 am - 3:00 pm Sunday, July 25th 10:30 am - 2:30 pm Saturday, July 31st 10:00 am - 3:00 pm Sunday, August 1st 10:30 am - 2:30 pm
The purpose of this training is to prepare volunteers to work with individuals who are isolated, or living with life-threatening illnesses and other disabilities. The training will supply information about challenges our clients face as well as teach communication and listening skills through a variety of interactive exercise. The training is intensive, but our volunteers typically find it to be an enriching, community-building experience.
If you are interested in becoming a Shanti volunteer, start by filling out an application here: https://www.tfaforms.com/4661943
Shanti enhances the quality of life, health and well-being of people living with life-threatening illnesses, including Breast Cancer and HIV/AIDS.
Founded in 1974 by Dr. Charles Garfield, Shanti has been at the forefront of a growing national movement to enhance the quality of life for persons living with life-threatening or chronic illnesses by providing volunteer-based emotional and practical support.
Shanti is a Sanskrit word meaning "inner peace" or "tranquility". It is an appropriate name since, ultimately, all of Shanti's direct service and educational programs are aimed at easing the burdens and improving the well-being of people in difficult life situations.
Key to the success of Shanti's mission is the Shanti Model of Peer Support, which is both a philosophy and a set of techniques that are used throughout our work. It is a way of being with another person that frees both parties to be fully who they are and communicate their feelings to one another. It is a way of being which allows two persons to meet as equals. It is a way of relating to others that is characterized by certain values and attitudes.
Definition of Peer We define peer as someone who is not necessarily like us in obvious ways, but is someone with whom we share a basic humanity; someone with whom we are equals. All people share universal human experiences. By virtue of this shared humanity, we are all peers. The Shanti Model of Peer Support is based on this equality.
Values Underlying the Shanti Model of Peer Support
empowerment of the client (the assumption that the client has the solutions to his or her own problems and does not need your advice of direction)
genuineness (being oneself, authenticity)
acceptance of differences (does not mean agreement, but acceptance based on respect)
empathy (allowing oneself to feel with another person)