Carol Bowers, Volunteer Manager at NWC
“Volunteer? Volunteer of the Month? You want me to pick one?” Wait a minute, there are over 400 active volunteers who are giving their time and even doubling up during the summer. I pick all of them. Every one of the volunteers who give their time and energy each and every month to help our clients get to doctor appointments, the grocery store, receive friendly visits, reassurance calls and minor repairs, win the prize.
Volunteering is part of philanthropy and most do not expect anything in return. What do volunteers get out of their investment? I have asked several volunteers why they do what they do. This is what they said: Cheryl, “I love to drive the older people places. It means so much to them.” Bob, “I get so much satisfaction out of helping people. It makes my day.” Gayle, “I wish this service was available when my father was living. He had dementia and I had to balance work and caring for him. Now, I want to make it easier for others.” Carol, “There is so much stress living so far away from my parents. To know that they can get to the doctor or receive a good meal each day gives me great peace of mind.” Marcie, “It is the best job I’ve had. I used to do it to give back, but now it is so rewarding, the people I meet mean so much to me and I feel so gratified.” Sharon, “I love my job a lot, it makes me feel good to see all these people that band together to help one another. I always have fun working with like-minded people.” Verna, “Helping our neighbors makes me feel better than it makes them feel!” Several of our clients got together this winter to make valentines for the veterans. They commented, “It feels so good to be doing something for other people for a change.”
We are so fortunate to know good people who share a bit of their time with others and feel better about themselves while making the struggle to live at home and enjoy life longer a bit easier. For younger volunteers, it is learning from people who have a longer life experience and for older volunteers, it is someone to relate to who have experienced life from a mutual perspective. I personally find it rewarding to learn new things from the people I serve that have differing experiences, makes my life so much richer. Knowing people who volunteer strengthens my faith in humankind. Knowing the people they serve enriches my life.
If you would like to experience a rewarding few hours each week, enroll in one of our five volunteer orientation classes this month. Find that gratified feeling that goes all the way to the tips of your toes. Call 480-895-7133. Check out our website at www.neighborwhocare.com.