That ‘V’ Word

Hospice Executive Director Lisa To, left, and longtime Hospice of Warren County volunteer Sandy Ransom

The “V” word people think about in February is “Valentine’s Day”. This article is about another important “V” word that is also about love – “volunteering”. People often fear or avoid commitment. Yet without the commitment of people who volunteer, many things would go away or not happen.

You might think you’re too busy, or just want downtime after your busy days; that you don’t have the time or just don’t want to volunteer. You’ve got enough to worry about, and life is busy enough as it is.

It’s been said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

Despite the inward connections through electronic devices, the reality is it’s a big world out there filled with lots of people and bricks and mortar organizations who need our tolerance and time. An essential part of happiness along life’s journey is helping others. Without this service aspect, life can be a one-dimensional, lonely experience. Albert Schweitzer said, “The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.”

Volunteering takes the focus off yourself to help another and typically leaves your life enhanced. Relationships are often formed with people you might not have met otherwise.

Volunteering can happen in many ways and we’re all capable of volunteering. The key is identifying something you like; something you like to do and maybe is even passionate about. Businesses and organizations are strapped now more than ever with regulatory and operational burdens that employed staff must tend to. Volunteers add to the success of an organization by helping complete necessary or desired tasks that are tough for the employed staff to get to.

Some activities of an organization might not happen were it not for volunteers valuing the activity’s purpose and stepping up to see that it is carried out.

If you’re not able to spend time outside of work or home life volunteering, perhaps you can volunteer during work, donating some of your talent and time to an entity or situation in need of your type of service for which you have strong positive feelings and want to support.

Some people volunteer their financial resources to support an entity whose purpose they are behind. You can volunteer to put others first in everyday situations; letting someone enter your lane of traffic or taking time to mentor a co-worker.

The Eldercare Council of Warren-Forest Counties is made up of agencies and organizations that all serve the elderly of Warren and Forest counties. Nursing homes assisted living facilities, hospice agencies, senior centers, and our local hospital, among other agencies, offer a hotbed of opportunities to volunteer. Contacting the United Fund of Warren County at 726-0292 or www.unitedfundofwarrencounty.org and/or Warren Gives website at warrengives.org can lead you to many organizations who rely on or could use volunteer help. Calling “2-1-1” can link you to an agency looking for volunteers. Or, merely look inside yourself. You can give only your own time. Someone else’s time is theirs to give – You can give only what is yours. Every day we’re given opportunities to reach out to serve, to love others, and to make a difference. Add to the sweetness in life and change yours in the process. Give some thought to the “V” word. We all have the means to make our community, our world, a better place.

Contact any of the following Eldercare Council Officers if you are interested in speaking more about volunteering. These individuals can connect with any of the member agencies of the Eldercare Council:

Chairman – Kelsey Angove (Rouse) 563-6465

Vice chairman – Lindsay Bevevino (Kinzua Valley Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center) 726-0820

Treasurer, Jeff Berdine (Community Resources for Independence) 726-3404

Secretary, Lisa To (Hospice of Warren County) 723-2455

This article brought to you by the Eldercare Council of Warren-Forest Counties.

Lisa To is Executive Director of Hospice of Warren County.

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