The Joy of Volunteering

Imagine this: You enter a room where it's ok to need to wear an ice pack, tinted glasses, or earplugs, and even to cancel if you can't show up. You are part of a community of like-minded individuals trying to make the world better. You matter.

This is the feeling I have every time I show up to volunteer for migraine or headache-related nonprofits. I have been volunteering for migraine nonprofits for years now, including past projects with Chronic Migraine Awareness, Inc. and the Migraine Research Foundation.

This migraine awareness month, I wanted to highlight my recent volunteer experiences with Miles for Migraine.

About Miles for Migraine

Founder and migraine advocate Eileen Jones started the Miles for Migraine nonprofit organization in 2008. The first event was a run/walk fundraiser in San Francisco. Now Miles for Migraine holds over 50 events across the country. Many are run/walk/relax events, including one in my city of Boston. There is also an ever-growing list of in-person and online events, including mindfulness programs, local chapter meetings, teen and youth programs, support groups, educational and social events, and more. For a complete list of what Miles for Migraine offers, you can visit their main web page: milesformigraine.org.

My volunteering experiences

Though I've joined several Miles for Migraine races once they came to Boston, my volunteering started after I participated in their Act Now advocacy program, which trains and empowers people like you and me to become advocates for migraine and headache disease. After completing the program, I've had the pleasure of helping with their mindfulness and social events (all virtual), as well as starting the first in-person chapter in Boston (we just had our first meeting!).

Building a community

Whenever I volunteer, I see the person I was ten years ago. I yearned for a community, support system, and friends who "get it." There is an immediate deep level of understanding whenever I connect with other volunteers or participants. I remember the loneliness when I was first dealing with chronic migraine, and it fills my heart in a way I cannot adequately express to give to those in that position now. I hope for a future in which none of us ever feel alone in our pain.

The Dear Migraine Book Project

In addition to volunteering at events, I've also started my own advocacy project called the Dear Migraine Book Project. It will be a compilation of art, writing, and other creative expressions. To read the full details and submit to the Dear Migraine Book Project, follow this link: Dear Migraine Book Project - Miles For Migraine. The deadline is July 15, 2022!

Get inspiration

If you need inspiration to get writing, you can watch a few of my videos here on migraine.com!

Share with me

Have you volunteered in the migraine community? What was the experience like? If you haven't volunteered, what type of work would you like to do if you haven't volunteered?

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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