15 Jul Mission Minute: Volunteering is Always a Win-Win
by Kathe Rae, Manager of Mission Integration and Volunteers
Thinking back to my childhood, we struggled financially like many families. However, the importance of giving back and helping persons in need was instilled in me by my parents, and volunteering was not a choice. It was expected of me. One of my favorite volunteer memories was when we hosted a neighborhood fun frolic with silly games and donated trinket prizes in our little backyard. Such fun we had and for a good cause as the proceeds went to Riley Children’s Hospital where a young neighbor had been hospitalized for a lengthy stay. While my job has limited the amount of time I am able to give, I have continued to volunteer on an ongoing basis with several organizations and special events.
Volunteer opportunities and personal reasons for volunteering are almost endless. While we often highlight our wonderful volunteers, this month we are sharing how and why New Hope associates and individuals we serve, have a passion for volunteering.
John Lorton, who is served in our Supported Living Program, has been volunteering at the St. Vincent DePaul food pantry for over 10 years. When asked why his time there is rewarding, he stated, “everyone needs to eat regardless of income.” He feels his helping is not a choice, but an obligation which he takes very seriously. There is a camaraderie, and everyone is a part of the team, whether an employee or volunteer.
Terri Gee, a Behavior Consultant, is also passionate about volunteering. She is a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) and loves being a voice for children in need of advocacy. She told me, “Children are learning how to survive in unforeseen circumstances, and they become more resilient and develop empathy. Teaching children and youth how to utilize resources in the community is important.” She also volunteers with IUSSW (Indiana University School of Social Work) encouraging students to make connections so that as social workers later, they can be of service to those in need. In addition, she volunteers at her church, serving unconditionally.
When Nurse Consultant Madonna Brindle started attending her church, she knew she wanted to help in a ministry. At the time a new special needs ministry was being started, which was a perfect fit for her. She finds much joy in serving children and their families; worshiping and praying with the kids, singing songs, utilizing interactive lessons, etc. Some of the parents have commented to Madonna that their kids can’t wait to come to Sunday school.
Within our AIM program the individuals have a variety of opportunities to volunteer with organizations such as Wheeler Mission, FACE, Meals on Wheels, Iris Radio, Buttermilk Mountain Dog Biscuits and Carmel-Clay Parks. They recently made dog biscuits and helped sell them at a farmer’s market with proceeds providing activities for children with disabilities. At Wheeler Mission, they sort donations along with other groups. Bobbie Wright really loves meeting people, who often want to work alongside him at Wheeler because of his friendliness and engaging smile. Adria Shock shared how a new experience of digging up invasive plants through Carmel Parks made her feel good about herself as she was making a difference. So many great reasons to volunteer!
Volunteering is truly a “win-win” as the volunteers find their time well spent and rewarding, while the receiving organizations benefit in innumerable ways from compassionate, dedicated and giving people. We applaud our associates and clients for their desire and efforts to give back to their communities. New Hope has been so fortunate to have caring and involved volunteers throughout the years. If you are interested in making an impact with New Hope, we are actively recruiting new volunteers and have a specific need at this time. With the new food truck program starting, we are seeking volunteer drivers to help transport our client workers to and/or from the kitchen and the food truck location. If you’re interested in being a part of this innovative program and helping in a truly meaningful way, please contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or (317) 338-4564.