Two gifts that seem to flow naturally from giving back to others are contentment and gratefulness.

Just ask Katie Ohotto, who has “given back” six times via short-term (one-, two- and three-week) service programs through Global Volunteers.

“Volunteering centers me in both my personal and professional lives,” says Katie, who is a certified yoga instructor in Bikram and vinyasa styles and who practices yoga daily. “While contentment and gratefulness come to mind first, I‚ve gained a greater understanding of people and how other cultures choose to pace their time and prioritize the relationships in their lives.”

“I’ve learned again and again that happiness does not come from money and material things but from the heart. Wherever I’ve served — from the small fishing village called Prampram in Ghana to the crowded city of Chennai in southern India, I’ve fueled an inner peace while hopefully fostering a bit of world peace through mutual understanding. It’s still fulfilling to recall the sounds of laughter with newly made friends and the look of a child’s face when lit up with a smile.”

To give back and join a volunteer team, call 800-487-1074 or visit the Global Volunteers website at