What’s Keeping You from Volunteering?

Sheryl Keeme, Neighbors Who Care Executive Director

When I meet someone for the first time around the Sun Lakes community, sometimes the first thing out of their mouth is, “What an awesome organization that is!” or “You do such good work!” The sense of pride I experience when I hear those words makes me feel like a million bucks. Few people can say that about their place of business, and I don’t take that lightly. Nor do I take it for granted.

The thing is, our office or organization is awesome and does such good work because of one very big reason: fabulous volunteers. It’s that simple. Without them, we are nothing. Talk to Neighbors Who Care clients or volunteers, and you will hear the same thing. Very special individuals comprise our volunteer corps. In some situations, it seems many of them simply cannot do enough for our most vulnerable, shut-in clients. We are so lucky to be a part of a community of people that wants to improve older people’s quality of life here in their own part of the world.

That said, one question has nudged at me for the last couple of years since being in this seat for more than a year. Each month we welcome anywhere from 25 to 40 new clients. Conversely, our new volunteer onboarding numbers hover between 8 and 15. (Incidentally, one can see a little problem in the resulting disparity, but that problem is for another day.) My question begins with the knowledge that month in and month out, we often have people complete an application, schedule an orientation with us, attend it, and finally meet with Verna in our office for their interview to sign up for the activity they want to do. Here is the question: Why do a fair number of people go through this process yet never sign up for a volunteer opportunity?

If you have wondered this same question, wonder no more! We’d love to have you help us out. We have needs for everything we do, but we are particularly in need of help with respite care and, always, transportation. If you would like to try volunteering alongside someone else the first few times, just let us know. Mentoring is a great way to ease into it. But after one or two times helping one of our clients, you will find it is simple and rewarding. Plus, you could make a new friend. So many of our volunteers tell me helping our clients gives them a sense of purpose, and it is a great shot of dopamine, the feel-good hormone! Don’t wait another month! Sign up now—what’s keeping you?