This issue of the Denver VOICE includes a special section on volunteer opportunities throughout Metro Denver. This is the third year the VOICE has partnered with Metro Volunteers to publish their Volunteer Guide, an excellent resource on volunteer opportunities in the area. National Volunteer Week is April 12-18. Make sure you check out the guide for ideas on how you can give back to your community that week—and all year long!
What drives people to give their time—which is such an invaluable commodity? Initially for me, it was the best way that I could give back without having the means to contribute financially. As I contributed more of my time, and learned more about the organizations and people that needed help, every experience seemed to highlight everything that I took for granted. Eventually, my experiences in volunteering led to a job in the nonprofit sector. Fifteen years later, and I could not imagine myself doing anything else.
Recently my volunteering experiences have revolved around my family. My children have been exposed to volunteering and giving back from a young age—both through my own nonprofit work and their school.
When I asked my daughter her feelings about volunteering, she acknowledged “plenty of people are not as fortunate as I am, I want to try to give them a chance to live the way I live, have opportunities like I have. And it feels good to help them out.”
As a result of her experiences, my daughter has found other ways that she can give back. She has donated her old clothes and toys to the organizations that have impacted her. She also went gangbusters collecting money for her school’s penny harvest campaign—although I realize that might have been fueled by the opportunity to dunk the principal.
Ultimately, volunteering with my family gives me the satisfaction of knowing that my children are learning how important it is to give back to others—from example as well as experience. No matter how well off we are, or how little we have, we can all give a little bit to help others.
I would like to personally thank everyone who has given his or her time as a volunteer for the Denver VOICE. We are blessed to have such great support from our community. We could not accomplish all that we do without those of you who take time out of your day to support our cause. Our volunteers provide important support in the vendor office every day, and also help the VOICE with marketing, advertising, event, and fundraising support. I’d also like to acknowledge and thank our VOICE board members. We are so fortunate to have such a great board who are so invested in our mission.
Lastly, I’d like to acknowledge our VOICE vendors who donate their own time and energy to the VOICE and the other vendors. Every week, our experienced vendors take the time to work with newer vendors to provide sales tips and training. It just proves the point that you don’t have to have a lot to make a big difference. All we can do is our little part. Whether it is a donation of money, talent, or time and energy, it all adds up. ■
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