As you are likely aware, April is National Volunteer Month. And this very week is National Volunteer Week! Our Capture Marketing Team happily acknowledges this time dedicated to honoring volunteers in our communities and to celebrate volunteerism, we wanted to share some of our team’s personal volunteer experiences and what volunteering means to us overall.
My parents instilled in us the importance of giving back and volunteering. The first time I remember volunteering was when my Dad was on the Board of Directors for Easter Seals. They had an annual basketball tournament for high school teams which was held downtown. My role was to put together packets of information for each of the coaches, check in the refs, make sure the participants had everything they needed and show each of the teams to their locker rooms. I remember being very excited as this was right when the Bradley Center was built. Looking back on this makes me think it was a foreshadowing of Capture Marketing! “Being able to share your expertise and skills to improve the lives of others is priceless. I feel that those that volunteer get as much out of the experience as those that are helped through the organization.”
I have volunteered for Adopt-A-Highway, Hurricane Katrina victims, and Choralfest for WELS High Schools across the country. Whether I’ve helped clean up the trash on a mile-long stretch of road in my hometown, washed cars to raise money for those who had lost so much in the terrible hurricane, or was a tour guide to aid performers to get to the appropriate places on time for their performances, it felt good to help those that needed help. “There is always someone who will have less or be in a worse position than you. Instead of dwelling on what we personally don’t have in our lives, it’s important to give back what we do have, even if it’s just our time, to those who need it.”
I was a Big Sister for an elementary school girl for 4 years. Big Brothers Big Sisters provides children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. “I have many blessings in my life and being able to share these blessings with others is the least I can do. I’ve experienced the power a single moment or person can have on my life, and I want to try and pay forward that favor in as many ways as possible.”
Although my grandparents had always stressed the importance of volunteerism, my personal volunteering journey started with Habitat for Humanity in college. Since that time, I’ve helped build 6 homes and then began volunteering for other causes that meant a lot to me because I realized the direct impact my actions could have on those in need. Most recently, I volunteered for Exploit No More, an organization to end child sex trafficking. “Volunteering is my way to make positive change happen now. I want to be the change I wish to see in the world… It’s amazing how much this choice to help others has changed me for the better too.”
I would like to shine a personal light on my time volunteering with B.I.G. Love Cancer Care. They fulfill weekly wishes of pediatric cancer patients and their families as well as provide new diagnosis gift bags, weekly toys, parking passes, holiday gift baskets, catered meals and a comfort cart. I have gotten companies and individuals involved in donating items for the organization that supports pediatric cancer patients (and their families) needs while in treatment. “There is no greater feeling than giving your time to someone in need. The time spent will not be forgotten and you help someone have a better day than yesterday.”
Most of the volunteering I do revolves around my children’s interests and development. I want them to understand the perspectives of others’ lives and challenges so they can think of solutions and ways to help those around them. Each of us volunteer our time and gifts in any way we can like making bracelets to sell for a cause, running a lemonade stand where proceeds go to charity, volunteering time to help teachers or at sporting events. It’s the little things that can make a big impact and those opportunities present themselves every day. “Our communities are only as strong as we make them. Volunteering benefits both the person giving their time as it is very rewarding, and also helps in countless ways to organizations and people that depend on them.”
I’ve been involved as a volunteer for Rustic Pathways, Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS), St. Anthony’s Food Pantry, Houston Food Bank, and Marquette University Urban connection. I usually help where needed, but for BBBS I served as a Big Sister, which is more of a leadership role compared to Rustic Pathways where I was on a mission trip to help villagers in the Bateyes; we built floors and planted gardens and dug ditches around the houses. It doesn’t matter which role you have as a volunteer, from stocking shelves, organizing at a food pantry or taking on a leadership role, it all makes a needed impact. “Volunteering is one thing I know I can do to help others and contribute positively to the community. It’s a way to be there for others in need in whatever way you can and it’s helped me grow as person and become a more active member of society.”
As a team, we encourage each other in our daily tasks, but also in our efforts as individuals, to give back. We hope that National Volunteer Month encourages all of our friends, family, and clientele to take a moment to give back to their communities. As the late great Winston Churchill so wisely said, ‘We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give’.