Feel the Magic mentor Rachel

By Isabella Simantov

Volunteering can bring meaning and purpose to your life. It can bring people together by building communities and creating a better society.

There is also evidence that helping others triggers a response in your brain that can give you a buzz sometimes known as the ‘helper’s high’.

Without our caring and dedicated helpful volunteers at Feel the Magic, we simply couldn’t support the many grieving children that need us. Why? Campers benefit from one-on-one trained volunteer mentors at many of our Camps.

Feel the Magic volunteer Rachel

Meet Rachel (pictured as part of the support crew for Magic Ride 2022), one of our amazing volunteers. Rachel initially became involved with Feel the Magic in 2019 as a mentor at Camp Magic in ACT.

We asked Rachel why she joined Feel the Magic as a volunteer.

Rachel’s dad died when she was 11 years old and her brother 14. Rachel said “The first day of camp would have been my dad’s 60th birthday. When I found out what Feel the Magic was and the work they were doing with kids going through the same loss, I had to get involved and join in and help make it a little easier for them”.

Rachel has now attended five camps, two as a mentor and three as part of the wellbeing team. She was also part of the support crew for the fundraising Magic Ride 2022 and has amazingly signed up again for 2023!

Rachel told us what inspires her most about our Campers is “the vulnerability and growth that you see over the course of the weekend.”

Rachel further said that “A program like Feel the Magic would have benefitted my brother and I a lot”.

Feel the Magic is fortunate to have many people like Rachel who understand the significance of losing a loved one as a child, can relate to Campers and recognise the vitality of our programs.

Rachel shared a little bit about her own journey of grief and said that “grief is a non-linear cyclical adventure. It goes up and down and is not something that ever ends. It’s been nearly 16 years since my dad died and there are still days when I am completely blindsided by the grief of that loss but there are also many days when I am not so quite blind sided anymore”.

Benefits of volunteering

Volunteering can offer vital support to people in need and provides individuals with a sense of community. The benefits of volunteering can be profound.

The right volunteering opportunity can help you connect with a community, learn new skills, and even advance your career.

Giving to others can also improve your own mental and physical health and provide a sense of purpose.

  • Volunteering often helps counteract the effects of stress, anger, depression and anxiety. 
  • The social aspect of helping and working with others can have a profound effect on your overall psychological wellbeing. 
  • Being helpful to others provides immense enjoyment, can give you a sense of pride and identity, and ultimately increasing self-confidence. 
  • Doing good for others and the community may provide you with a natural sense of accomplishment. 
  • Helping others triggers the reward pathway in the brain known as the mesolimbic system. The release of neurotransmitters such as oxytocin and vasopressin can give you a buzz sometimes known as the ‘helpers high’. 

No matter your age or life situation, volunteering can provide a sense of purpose, keep you mentally stimulated, and add more zest to your life.

Rachel’s advice to others considering volunteering with Feel the Magic: “Just do it! It is something you will consider for ages and always put off, but once you do it, it’s so worth it… absolutely do it!”.

“Volunteers make the world go around. I knew I would volunteer somewhere sometime and Feel the Magic hits that spot for me. We wouldn’t be able to get through life without people volunteering to help those in need of different services and charities like Feel the Magic”.

Volunteering is a meaningful way to feel a sense of belonging, catch feel-good emotions, embrace your passions, and open the door to life satisfaction.

A big thank you to our volunteers for your unwavering commitment and dedication to the Feel the Magic community.

If you are interested in volunteering with us at Feel the Magic, click here for more information.



Dr. Michael Bowen (BA ’08 BA(Hons) ’10 PhD ’14)