Meaningful Work

Where will you a make a difference?

Live and work at Odiyan Retreat Center on one thousand breathtakingly beautiful acres overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Northern CA.

Live in a spiritual community dedicated to meaningful work. Learn new skills and share your knowledge while making a lasting and valuable contribution to the preservation of enlightened knowledge for all humanity. Many hands are needed to tend to the extensive gardens and landscaping of Odiyan Retreat Center overlooking the Pacific Ocean in California. The way of life integrates creative and challenging work with a path of self-exploration that opens up your inner potential. No special skills or religious affiliation required. Includes housing, vegetarian meals, classes and small living allowance. • Short-Term Job AdventuresThe pay may be modest. The work is important. The satisfaction is incredible. Whether working in soup kitchens or family shelters, teaching and inspiring at-risk or disadvantaged youth, empowering the mentally ill, building houses for the poor, assisting the elderly or helping the fight against hunger, you'll find your options in this channel.

Your efforts may not immediately change the world or solve deep-rooted problems, but will serve as an ongoing commitment to helping others in need while promoting the integrity of creation. If you have a passion for service and are willing to go the extra mile to help a good cause, it's time to start making a difference—the world needs you!

More to Explore
Check out the Camp Jobs channel for more meaningful work programs!


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Camphill Communities of North America

Whether you are looking for an internship opportunity, a formal training program, a short-term volunteer experience, or a new, fully committed lifestyle, the Camphill Coworker Program offers a celebration of life and engaging service work.

AmeriCorps Education Award ProvidedProgram in the Spotlight Camphill Communities offer a life of celebration, service, and community building in which all members may flourish. Camphill staff—called Coworkers—live and work alongside children, youth and adults with developmental and other disabilities in one of eleven rural communities throughout the U.S. (California, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont) and Canada (British Columbia and Ontario). Since everyone in Camphill contributes to the community according to his or her ability, the work is varied. Work life may mean providing human support and caregiving, teaching a craft, working on the farm or garden, cooking wholesome food, engaging in the healing arts, or celebrating seasonal festivals together. Some coworkers come for a short-term experience, while others make it a long-term way of life. Coworkers with families are also welcome (a Waldorf education for long-term coworker children is provided where available). Benefits include room, board, medical insurance, a modest stipend, vacation time, and training and education in social therapy, organic and biodynamic agriculture, the healing arts and crafts; an AmeriCorps educational award of $5,550 is possible after a year of service. Prospective Coworkers who have a genuine interest in others, a willingness to do what is needed, and are flexible, tolerant, and cheerful are eagerly sought by each community. Explore current job opportunities for each Camphill community online.

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Camphill Communities: Coworker and resident sharing moments together.

Learn more about a Camphill Communities California coworker who found his place to help, change, and influence the lives of others while being submerged in a culture of genuine acceptance, love, caring, thought, idea and action.

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2013 marks the 100th anniversary of Gould Farm, the oldest residential therapeutic community in the nation dedicated to helping adults living with mental illness.

On-the-job and in-service training and supervision are part of Gould Farm's pledge to provide a meaningful work experience for its employees.

Program in the Spotlight With locations in the Boston suburbs and the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts, Gould Farm is a compassionate, respectful family environment where people with mental illness learn to build more meaningful lives for themselves through work, recreation and community life. The services at the farm remain rooted in the belief that every person has something to contribute despite mental or emotional limitations. Serving as informal counselors, work team leaders and role models, most staff and volunteers engage small groups of guests through work tasks that are required to run this 600-acre farm. In order to provide the most fulfilling experience, volunteers are asked to be flexible and work on several areas of the farm, which may include gardening, farming, forestry, dairy management, crafts, cooking, restaurant & retail management, childcare, administration, maintenance, and/or residential support. Boston area program staff live in a smaller community and provide support, guidance, and advocacy for clients who are well on their way to leading more independent lives. A minimum commitment of 12 months is necessary, with opportunities available throughout the year. Benefits include a monthly stipend, housing in private rooms, wholesome meals and full medical coverage. Mature, well-rounded and people-oriented individuals who are interested in learning and living in a therapeutic community are encouraged to apply.

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Current Job Openings
The Boston Area Program Volunteer will work directly with program participants who come for care and are part of the transitional program recovery model.

Enjoying the beauty of the Gould Farm Campus

The unique spirit that resides in the rural community lifestyle at Gould Farm offers both meaningful work coupled with recreation, singing, music, crafts and a celebration of nature and life.

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St. Elizabeth Shelter: Building Futures, Changing Lives

Are you looking for a unique experience with an innovative program that will shape your life forever? Serving thousands of homeless men, women and families, St. Elizabeth Shelter creates an atmosphere of loving concern that respects the dignity of each individual and provides the homeless with hope for the future. Case management, transitional and educational programs are provided—helping many to achieve independent living. Residential Interns are responsible for most of the hands-on operation of the shelter, ranging from assisting homeless guests, organizing meals, processing donations, providing case management and maintaining the facilities. St. E's also strives to facilitate an internship experience that will bring a mutually satisfying experience for both the intern and the residents. Positions are available full-time from 6-12 months with flexible start dates. Benefits include a $6/hour wage, housing (in a fully-furnished private suite above the shelter with shared living/kitchen space), food allowance and training in crisis resolution, mediation and nonprofit management. Those who commit for one year will also receive health and dental insurance. Applicants must have a high school degree and two years of college or work experience and be willing to work hard at helping the homeless. Spanish language ability and prior work in the social services field is a plus. To apply, email your resume and cover letter to Maria Lopez.

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St Elizabeth Shelter: home for many!

A prospective Intern was hoping to find an entrée into the social work field, to learn about operating a nonprofit, and to obtain some experience in case management. Sarah Dolan's internship journey at St. Elizabeth Shelter explores how the expectations were fulfilled beyond her wildest dreams.

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Camp Summit. A remarkable place. For remarkable people.Camp Summit is a traditional camp for children and adults (ranging in age from 6 to 99 years old!) with physical and/or intellectual disabilities. Barrier-free outdoor camp experiences that promote personal growth and foster independence include a specially designed swimming pool, an adapted tree house, playground and ropes challenge course, horseback riding, sensory garden, covered outdoor gymnasium, fishing pond, and lodge with fireplace. Seasonal staff positions include Counselors, Unit Leaders, Rovers, Nurses, Kitchen Staff and Activity Directors in the following areas: Arts & Crafts, Horses/Wrangler, Kaleidoscope, Nature, Pool, Ropes Course, and Sports & Games. Job opportunities are available during the summer months (mid-May to mid-August) or the fall season (mid-September to mid-November). A commitment for the entire season is preferred, and applicants must be able to commit to at least five consecutive weeks. Benefits include a salary (starting at $200/week), room and board, free laundry facilities, and an intensive week of instructional and hands-on training. Experience working with a special needs population is not necessary; however, a desire to work with these special campers is a must! Watch the staff video, fill out the online application or contact Dana Zimmerman for more info.

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At Camp Summit you will have the opportunity to gain experience working with a variety of people with a wide range of disabilities.

Camp Summit provides an incredible opportunity for growth, fun, resume building, memories, and impacting the lives of remarkable campers who have a wide range of disabilities. One season will change your life.

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Spring Lake Ranch: a small therapeutic work community in the Green Mountains of Vermont.

The heart of the community experience is people sharing their lives, struggles, achievements, hopes and dreams with each other in authentic, non-judgmental, and deeply respectful ways.

Program in the Spotlight Situated on 650 acres in Vermont's Green Mountains, surrounded by woods, adjacent to the Appalachian Trail, and near the pristine serenity of Spring Lake, Spring Lake Ranch is a therapeutic residential community and farm with the mission to support and empower people with mental health and substance abuse challenges to grow, thrive, and seek their dreams. House Advisors/Crew Leaders live and work alongside residents, leading the wide variety of tasks that keep the Ranch running through every season of the year: care of the farm animals, working in the garden, bringing in hay, shoveling snow, chopping wood, pressing apple cider, cutting ice from the lake, building furniture, producing maple syrup, clearing trails, and helping with the ongoing tasks of cooking, cleaning, sewing, and repairing. Benefits include $309/week, private accommodation within a Ranch residence, all meals, full health and dental insurance, three weeks' paid vacation (first year), 10 days paid sick time yearly, educational opportunities, use of all Ranch facilities including: laundry, linen service, woodshop, auto shop, pottery studio, art room, sewing room, computers, and lake front with private dock and canoes; plus the many less tangible benefits that come from living and working in a close-knit community. House Advisors make an initial commitment of six months to one year and many apply to stay longer.

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Full-Time Job Alert—Now Hiring a Farm Manager!
Spring Lake Ranch is now seeking a full-time Farm Manager who will steward the Ranch's 65-acre therapeutic farm operation including including livestock care, hay production, pasture management, building/equipment maintenance, plus staff and client supervision. Learn more about this exciting job opportunity.

Spring Lake Ranch: Perspectives from House Advisors

Engage in the lives of others and the life of the land. Share your skills, talents and warmth with a diverse community of people trying to lead more fulfilling lives. Play in the Green Mountains of Vermont. Learn about becoming a Shadow Warrior or how the team contributes a steady stream of energy, creativity and enthusiasm for residents at Spring Lake Ranch.

The Vermont Youth Conservation Corps is a nonprofit youth, leadership, service, conservation, and education organization that instills in individuals the values of personal responsibility, hard work, education, and respect for the environment.

The LEAP Program is looking for motivated, flexible and thoughtful individuals interested in working with youth with disabilities!

Learn, Earn, and Prosper (LEAP) is a program of the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps which provides youth, 16-24 years old, who are blind or visually impaired the opportunity to gain the skills needed to become independent, confident and productive young adults. The goal of this program is to increase the employable skills of youth in transition which will help lead to meaningful employment. The LEAP program is a great balance of learning new skills and enjoying all that Vermont's outdoors has to offer. After two intensive weeks of residential training, LEAP Crew Leaders will provide leadership, supervision, motivation and direction for their visually impaired crew. The combination of a diverse crew with excellent, trained Leaders working together creates a personally challenging and educationally rich experience for everyone involved. Throughout the entire experience the crew lives in an apartment on the UVM campus where they can practice independent living skills, such as learning to buy groceries, cooking healthy meals, doing laundry and sharing chores. Compensation includes $500/week plus room and board. Applicants must be at least 22 years old, a preferable background in education or residential therapeutic setting, have leadership experience with diverse groups of young people, maturity, optimism and a sense of humor and able to make a commitment from May 27th to August 11th, 2015. Ready to make a difference? Apply online (choose the LEAP Crew Leader Application).

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The LEAP Program is looking for motivated, flexible and thoughtful individuals interested in working with youth with disabilities!

"As a Crew Leader for the LEAP Program last year, I had the privilege of helping five blind and visually impaired young adults gain the confidence and skills to build professional relationships, live and travel independently, and develop potential career paths. When the LEAP Crew describes their summer as life changing, they are not exaggerating. While LEAP teaches the measurable skills, the program also inspires in participants something far more valuable: the courage to challenge themselves and grow, to believe that they are powerful and capable of achieving goals that, before LEAP, they never imagined feasible."

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Innisfree Village Residential Volunteer Program

Innisfree caregivers are volunteers who forgo traditional employment and choose life sharing instead because they are seeking a new way of life.

Program in the Spotlight Set in the foothills of the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains, Innisfree Village celebrated its 40th year in 2011 as a lifesharing community for adults with intellectual disabilities. Coworkers and residential volunteers work together on this 550-acre farm in a model therapeutic environment emphasizing empowerment, interdependence and mutual respect of all community members. Serving as houseparents, Volunteers live together with coworkers in family-style homes throughout the village. After a one-month orientation period, responsibilities include cleaning, cooking, laundry, shopping, and finances of the house as well as caring for the personal needs of each coworker. Volunteers are also engaged in therapeutic and meaningful work in the bakery, community kitchen, farm, herb & vegetable gardens, the free school, weavery and woodshop. Benefits include a private room, all meals, a $265/month stipend, 15 paid vacation days, access to community cars and onsite fitness facility, WiFi access, health insurance and two consecutive days off per week. Fifteen to twenty people, all with various backgrounds and nationalities, are needed each year. Volunteers must be at least 21 years of age, able to make a one-year commitment and be patient, empathetic, flexible and positive. Applications are accepted throughout the year; a visit to Innisfree prior to applying as a volunteer is strongly recommended.

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Now Hiring!
More to Explore!Innisfree is currently seeking full-time Residential Caregivers who can begin a year of service beginning in May and on into September. This is a unique opportunity if you are interested in community living, working with people with special needs, and rural life or farming/gardening.

Innisfree volunteers are engaged in therapeutic and meaningful work in the bakery, community kitchen, farm, herb & vegetable gardens, the free school, weavery and woodshop.

Volunteering at Innisfree Village brings the give and take of a lifesharing home and work environment with residents who have intellectual disabilities. Learn how the community empowered Lisa G. to find a new way to move through the world while volunteering again and again and again.

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InterExchange Working Abroad provides meaningful volunteer placements in Australia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands, Guatemala, India, New Zealand, Peru and South Africa.InterExchange Working Abroad: Use your talents to help change the world!

Use your talents to help change the world.

InterExchange Working Abroad offers challenging and rewarding volunteer placements in Australia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands, Guatemala, India, New Zealand, Peru and South Africa.

Examples of Volunteer Projects Include:
Working at community center for disadvantaged children in Guatemala and taking Spanish-language classes.
Helping with after-school projects or volunteering at a museum or zoo in Peru.
Participating in women’s empowerment initiatives, teaching underprivileged children of migrant farm workers or teaching computer and English skills in India.
Teaching and caring for orphaned or neglected children or assisting with HIV/AIDS education programs in Costa Rica.

Many more options are available and all programs include volunteer placement, housing, meals, social and cultural activities, as well as local support and supervision. Programs in Costa Rica, Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands, Guatemala and Peru may include a four-week Spanish language course. Apply now to secure your desired start date and program.

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