Thursday, March 29, 2007

Volunteering/Civic Service

Yesterday I attended a conference hosted by the Young Professionals Network of the Chamber of Commerce of St. Joseph County and the focus, the focus was on volunteering in the community and all the benefits that are gained by community participation and civic service. The conference, Non-Profits: Their Impact, Your Involvement invited over 30 Non-Profit organizations in the Michianna area to attend. The conference hosted several speakers and emphasized the importance for businesses and their employees to volunteer on a regular basis. Incentives for businesses are the positive impact that businesses have on the community, as well as on the individual that is volunteering. I and another co-worker represented our agency, and were available for questions following the conference. I hope to see some of them come through our doors.
There are many benefits in volunteering for both the non-profit org., and for the individual, there are some studies that link good health and an improved attitude with volunteerism. And let's face it, doing something good or feeling like we've made a difference in someone's day in some small way does make us feel good. And there are so many opportunities to volunteer, some take as little as 30 minutes a week (like reading to a child). South Bend Schools offers this program. I work for a local non-profit organization, and we have a small staff of 6- so our volunteers make all the difference!
In our stats class, we have been asked to volunteer, so I have chosen to help with the Riverbend Math Community Center. I found it odd to have civic service as a class requirement in the beginning of the semester (considering this is a statistics course), but I was still excited to get involved in the community in a new way. This semester, I have really enjoyed my time at the Riverbend Math Center, and I'm getting class points at the same time-awesome! This is great, it gives me a chance to do something different. On my own, I would have never dreamed to volunteer at a math tutoring clinic but, it has been a wonderful experience!
So, while I know how hard it is to find time in our busy lives to volunteer, I think that once you do, you'll continue to find the time!


Nancy W said...

LaTasha - I like your blog, especially with respect to the benefits of volunteering, not only for the child but also for the individual volunteering and the community. There is such a need for volunteers. I myself participate in Elkhart Community School's "CARE" program, which is probably similar to South Bend. What a difference it makes to a child! Keep it up!! :) Nancy

Anonymous said...

Latasha, this was an awesome post. I appreciate your post and your viewpoints on volunteerism. I wholeheartedly agree with you. I just did a speech on Thursday promoting volunteerism. I'm glad you pointed out the health benefits and the fact that it doesn't take a whole lot of time on your part to make a difference. I suggest that people should think of volunteering as more of an exchange. It's not just you giving of yourself, but you do get a lot back in return.