Appreciating Volunteers and the Healthy Privilege of Volunteering
As a volunteer, you can have a positive impact on others – in so many different ways – doing something that makes you feel good too.
We know that helpful people lift us all up. And we know that it’s healthy to express and share gratitude. Beyond that, the addition of volunteering to your life can improve your sense of health and wellbeing. Consider a study published in March 2020 in the Journal of Happiness Studies – just as Covid was beginning to disrupt life as we knew it. Researchers found that people who had volunteered in the past year were more satisfied with their lives and rated their overall health as better than those who didn’t volunteer. Plus, people who volunteered more did even better.
Since March of 2020, volunteers have been critical to helping individuals and to bridging significant gaps in services affected by the pandemic. And those who have volunteered have experienced a sense of purpose and connection that wavered for many during the trying time.
This Volunteer Appreciation Week, we have seen and felt loads of gratitude, looking back on another extraordinary year, with hundreds of individuals involved in small and large acts of service.
We were delighted to celebrate all volunteers and highlight three years (!) of the Lyme Food Pantry with many generous neighbors at a Pizza Party open house on Tuesday, April 18th. Gathered together were drivers, friendly visitors, event organizers, musicians, IT gurus, Lyme Fire and Fast Squad members, soup makers, designers, board members of multiple organizations, planners, educators, program leaders, some of Those Guys, artists, flower arrangers, cooks and bakers, Lyme Food Pantry hosts and delivery team members, and more. The spirit was beautiful! Conversations were lively and thoughtful. It was a room full of people who contribute to a warm, welcoming and resilient community.
The Volunteer Appreciation pizza party was a lovely opportunity to gather, connect and celebrate volunteers and the joy and fulfillment we experience while volunteering! See the album below with a few photos from the celebration.
Of course, many volunteers weren’t able to join in the party. If you weren’t able to attend, we all celebrated you and your service, and we look forward to being with you next time.
Coming up: A great chance to join in a community-wide day of volunteerism. If you’ve not been able to volunteer lately, you can put your toe back in the water with a one-time project that will delight someone (and you too). You also might find that you make a new friend or deepen a relationship that will have you excited to share more helpful time together.
May 6th is Lyme’s Day of Service and Green Up Day, where many hands make light and joyful work of projects throughout our community. The day will be full of gratitude – and it will start with full bellies. Tami Dowd, Jeff Valence, and a big team, with the support of the Jenks Fund, will host a community breakfast to kick off the day.
Sign up Now! Volunteers may help with a project for a neighbor or at a shared community space, help with breakfast, or green up a stretch of road. If May 6th doesn’t work and you’re eager to help, sign up and leave a comment to let us know. We’ll be in touch to discuss a great project and time to complete it.
There’s more information now and photos from previous Days of Service on the event page. It will be updated as the day nears. If you have questions or suggestions, or you have a project that could benefit from some volunteer help, contact email@example.com or call us at 603-795-0603.
To learn more about opportunities to volunteer OR to share ways a volunteer might help you, contact Shelby@cclyme.org, call 603-795-0603, or go to our web page.
Every Wednesday, CommunityCare of Lyme lifts up a wellness topic, embracing the widest possible definition of individual and community well-being. We include local and national resources, individual and group programs and practices, and personal stories, videos, or songs that have something to teach us all. We are always seeking guest contributors!
If you have a wellness-themed topic you would like to share or learn more about, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
Manager of Volunteer Participation
CommunityCare of Lyme
603-795-0603 (CCL office and help line)