By Barbara LaGrenade, UWOTC’s Director of Volunteerism
April 18-24 is National Volunteer Week and I’m excited to talk about the importance and impact of volunteerism. Volunteers are an essential part of helping non-profit organizations thrive, saving them millions of dollars each year. Volunteers help non-profits with limited budgets stretch their dollars and use them for programs that meet their mission and impact their community. It’s easy to see how people help an organization by volunteering, but as people start giving their time, they also start to realize that volunteering benefits them.
While you begin to see your community in a new light, you also build connections with others, increase self-esteem, learn new skills, increase your physical fitness, and reduce stress which leading to a healthier happier YOU. By focusing on the needs of others, you learn to think less about yourself which reduces stress for many people. The biggest reason to volunteer – and the one I want to stress most – is that giving your time, whether it be just once or repeatedly, makes a lasting impact on the lives of countless others.
The United Way of Tri-County thrives because of the outpouring of generous help we see from our community. We have also started to see a rise in youth and young adult volunteers which gives me a lot of hope for our future. To all the people already helping, thank you for everything you do. To the ones on the fence, in the words of one of our volunteers, “just do it, you will feel so good!” Remember, by volunteering you’re doing a whole lot of good, not only for your community, but for YOU too!
If you’re got an hour or more to share, you can learn more about volunteering at www.uwotc.org/volunteer