As organizations like H.O.M.E. finish recognizing and celebrating National Volunteer Month, were you scratching your head thinking, "I have always wanted to volunteer but not sure where?"
Some studies report that many do not volunteer because they question if what they are doing is really making a difference.
It's a fair question and one that I would say requires you to do some due diligence to better understand how your volunteer efforts would translate into a change, an outcome or a difference at the place or program you are thinking of volunteering.
Let me tell you about some wonderful volunteers we had in a few of H.O.M.E.’s buildings that may help you think about the type of direct impact you can have.
Heck, you may even decide you want to volunteer with us. We’d love that!
We were thrilled when we received a call from Oak Grove Lutheran School’s Youth Group who were heading to Chicago for a concert and decided, while in town, to give back. We had the perfect creative outlet for a group of almost thirty youth to be active, while gaining exposure to older adults living in our Good Life Senior Residences, an intergenerational housing model for seniors.
After arriving and starting to paint and organize the older adults’ living space, one young volunteer commented that they thought the building was going to be run down. Another youth noted the building was much nicer than what she imagined.
Oh, the power of reality versus perception.
Unfortunately, there tends to be negative thinking surrounding older adults and aging. Our volunteer program affords the opportunity to debunk such negative thinking by providing a meaningful experience where volunteers directly interact with seniors.
This direct interaction with the recipient of their efforts also allows volunteers to see the impact of their good will, which is often not the case for many opportunities.
Another young person commented on how friendly everyone was and that they did not expect to see young people in the building and how interesting they thought that was. It is often shocking for people to think that different generations can co-exist together and support each other.
We here at H.O.M.E. have been offering intergenerational housing for thirty-six years strong. We love when volunteers get a chance to do good work for seniors at the same time as experiencing a shift in how and where they think older adults live.
If you, your company or a group of friends are interested in giving back please visit H.O.M.E.’s website to learn of our volunteer opportunities or call us directly at 773-921-3200.
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