Experience the benefits of macrobiotics as you contribute your time and energy as a Kushi Institute Volunteer!
Volunteering is a rewarding and economical way to live and learn the health-promoting macrobiotic way of life at Kushi Institute.
As a nonprofit educational center, we depend on the help our volunteers provide in the kitchen, office, housekeeping, and other areas. We appreciate volunteers who bring a mature, motivated attitude, and a commitment to helping us achieve smooth and effective operation of our center and excellent service for participants in all programs.
Reasons to volunteer:
- Contribute your time and energy to an organization that truly helps people improve their health and their lives
- Enjoy daily meals freshly prepared from delicious, organic whole foods
- Meet like-minded people from around the world
- Learn through observing selected classes and activities in off-duty hours
- Receive accommodations on or nearby our lovely 600-acre Berkshire mountain campus
- Enjoy scenic views, pure mountain well water, and sparkling fresh air
“I’ve enjoyed my short time here very much and am glad I had this opportunity…I feel that the educational programs presented are a big step toward the mission of the Kushi Institute and it’s staff. I’m especially thankful for the meals…I loved working in the Kitchen and watching the ‘magic’ happen…healthy food can be delicious and really can change the world.”
Kevin Raymond, Kitchen Volunteer
“It’s great gratitude I have for the opportunity to volunteer at Kushi Institute. To be in the ‘spirit’ of this place while working here is so supportive; I’ve enjoyed the atmosphere of many people from around the globe. I especially want to thank all of the teachers…and staff who work so hard and are patient and kind. A BIG thank you!”
Mary Woodward, Housekeeping Volunteer
“Volunteering at Kushi Institute continually inspired me, as I had the blessing to know my work directly helped others in their healing journeys and in their pursuit of macrobiotic knowledge. On a personal level, I experienced noticeable improvements in my health, as I benefited from the healthy food, morning exercise classes, and the overall atmosphere of good spirits and friendly company.”
Travis Bench, Front Desk Volunteer
“Volunteering has been an irreplaceable learning experience for me. Not only have I learned an infinite amount about macrobiotics, but I have also been allowed to reach deeper parts of myself that I could not (or would not) face before. The campus is quaint and the landscape is grand and gorgeous, allowing for this kind of self-reflection. I thoroughly enjoyed working in the kitchen…This experience has changed my life.”
Anna Witiuk, Kitchen Volunteer
Two options for volunteering – which one works for you?
- Duration: Minimum 1 month stay, maximum 16 weeks
- 40 hours work per week
- Fee: $50/week
- Benefits include:
- Organic daily meals
- Observing selected classes in off-duty hours
- 15% discount off Kushi Store purchases, private macrobiotic consultations,
shiatsu and other body work sessions, and guest meals
- Access to macrobiotic books, audio and video tapes in our library
Community Resident Volunteer (CRV)
- 17 consecutive weeks (approx. 4 months) commitment (1CRV session) required
- 40 hrs work per week.
- Fee $850/session
- Benefits include all Standard volunteer benefits
- The extra CRV benefit of a one-month long level of the Macrobiotic Leadership Program – also known as The Levels, (approx. $4,000 value for program and meals*) after the completion of the 17 week commitment. Many of our Community Resident Volunteers extend their volunteer time to a full year (3 CRV sessions) and qualify to attend all three month-long levels (approx. $12,000 value)
*Housing is a separate fee for each month long level. Please click here to download PDF document for details.
- Volunteers accepted into the Kitchen are required to work 3.5 hours/week in housekeeping (these hours are included in the 40 hour work week).
- As there are a limited number of volunteer positions, we regret we will not be able to accept all applicants.
- Due to US Government regulations, volunteers must be U.S. citizens or have a U.S. work visa or green card.
- Due to the active nature of the volunteer positions, all applicants must be in good physical, mental, and emotional health. If you are facing health issues, we encourage you to participate in our week-long Way to Health program. If you have a serious health problem and limited funds, Tuition Assistance is available for the Way to Health program according to individual needs.
Volunteer openings in the following departments:
- Kitchen IMMEDIATE OPENING! click here for job description.
- Housekeeping IMMEDIATE OPENING! click here for job description.
- Front Desk Receptionist opening mid-October click here for job description.
- Kushi Store/Mail Order/Warehouse IMMEDIATE OPENING! Contact (413) 623-2162 or email email@example.com for information.
For information about other possible volunteer opportunities, please call our volunteer coordinator at 413-623-5741 ext. 141.
To apply:Volunteer Application
You may submit the above application online and scan all necessary documents and email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also print the application and mail to the address below with needed documents. If you can not print the form, please contact us and we will mail an application to you.
Please include (via mail or email) the following items with your signed application:
- 3 work references
- Copy of U.S. passport, or copy of driver’s license and birth certificate or social security card (non-US citizens send copy of green card or work visa)
- Letter detailing why you are interested in volunteering at Kushi Institute
- Resume or work history
- $35 non-refundable application fee (may be paid by credit card by contacting our front desk)
Volunteer Opportunities, Kushi Institute, 198 Leland Rd., Becket, MA 01223 Or email to: email@example.com
Your fee goes toward your stay as a Kushi Institute volunteer. You are required to pay the full amount for your term of acceptance (up to 4 months) one month prior to the commencement of your volunteer program.
If you cancel at least 24 hours prior to your arrival date, with the exception of the non-refundable application fee, all other payments you have made for the volunteer program will be refunded to you. In the event you cancel less than 24 hours prior to your arrival date, no refund is available. Likewise there is no refund if you are a no-show, or if you leave the program for any reason.
Will I have any expenses during my stay?
Participants need to have adequate funds to cover basic expenses while they are here, such as coin-operated laundry, personal items, entertainment, and phone calls.
What is the weather like?
The Berkshire Mountains offer lovely Spring, Summer and Autumn seasons where it is warm during the day and unusual to get overly hot, and evenings are generally cool but not freezing. Winters can be very cold and snowy (in the teens and colder), and participants should be prepared with appropriate clothing. Multiple layers are a good idea for wintertime.
What if I do not have a car?
There is no public transportation to nearby towns. Volunteers without cars can arrange carpooling with other volunteers or staff members for shopping or entertainment.
What is the area like and what activities are available in the local area?
The Kushi Institute is located in western Massachusetts, in the heart of the Berkshire mountains. Becket is a small town with a general store, post office, library, and arts center. Participants enjoy walking on the country roads, swimming in lakes, or hiking on trails. State forests are located within a 20-minute drive. Malls, movie theaters, museums, horseback riding, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Tanglewood Music Festival, skiing, and other activities are within a 30-45 minute drive.
What should I bring?
If you are accepted as a volunteer, we will send you information about what to bring and other important details.
What are the living accommodations like?
Volunteers live either in our dormitory-style building or in off-campus accommodations within 1 mile of the campus. North Hall accommodations are single beds in either triple, double, or single rooms. The North Hall was formerly a Franciscan seminary, so rooms are generally small and Spartan. Single rooms are often not available for most volunteers. Bathrooms are shared along the hallway. Rooms do not have air conditioning, but generally do not get overly warm in the summer.
How are work assignments and schedules decided?
We determine which department volunteers are placed in based on our departmental needs as well as your experience, interests, and the dates you are available. Some departments do not accept volunteers for less than an 8-month or year-long commitment. Your department manager will give you a schedule each week. Though your hours will not exceed 40 hours per week, as we are open 7 days a week, your schedule will change according to departmental needs, including possible evening and weekend hours or split shifts. Volunteers receive at least 1 full day off each week.
What happens when I mail in my application?
When we receive your application, we will call you within a few days. During this call we will talk to you about the volunteer program to verify you understand what volunteering entails. After this call we check with your references. The time needed to check references varies according to the availability of your references to speak with us. From the time we receive your application to the completion of the application review process is usually about one week. Upon completion, we will contact you to confirm whether or not you have been accepted into the volunteer program, and to which department you have been assigned.
What method of payment do you accept for the application fee and volunteer program tuition?
We accept all major credit cards, checks and money orders.
Can I fill out the application online?
Yes. You may also mail or fax your application.
Are the volunteer programs open to citizens of countries other than the U.S.?
Yes, as long as you have a U.S. green card or work permit.
Can I apply my volunteer time towards the cost of the Way to Health or other programs?
The only program which you earn as a benefit for volunteering is a 1-month long Level for each 17 week CRV volunteer session completed. However, if you have a serious health condition, Kushi Institute’s Way to Health program is the program that would best serve your goals for improving your health. If you cannot afford the full Way to Health program fee, we encourage you to apply for Tuition Assistance, which is only available for the Way to Health program.
Can I volunteer for less than one month?
A minimum one-month commitment is required.