What are you passionate about? When you are home on a Saturday afternoon and the chores are done and the bills are paid, what do you enjoy doing?
That’s the question I posed to the ladies of the Indiana Extension Homemakers Association earlier this month. I was invited to speak to the ladies at their district meetings across the state. They were interested in learning more about The Salvation Army and how they can volunteer.
As I was preparing myself, I looked for a quote that would help me express what volunteering means to me. I came across this one from Oprah Winfrey:
Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.
I wanted these ladies to stop and think about things that they already do in their daily lives, things that really excite them. I received a wide range of responses.
“I love to rock in my chair and knit blankets,” said one. Another lady jumped up and said, “I love reading to my grandkids!” A few others mentioned playing the piano, gardening, and even couponing.
The point I wanted to make is that volunteering with The Salvation Army can take on many different faces, and opportunities are only limited by the thoughts in your head. We want to align volunteer opportunities with the passions of our volunteers. Allowing you to do what you already have a passion for and have it benefit The Salvation Army is a win for everyone involved. You get to spend some extra time doing what you love and a child in our day camp gets read to, or an older adult shut-in gets a beautiful blanket to cuddle with during an otherwise dreary winter.
Or the kids at the Women and Children’s Shelter get an Easter basket filled with goodies.
One of Iris Bouchez’s passions is bargain hunting. Last year after Easter, she found baskets, green grass and plastic eggs at a local store that were so heavily discounted she just had to pick a few up. And by “few”, I mean 70. This was too good of an opportunity to pass up so she bought them all. She knew the kids at the Shelter would love receiving such a special treat on Easter. So she stored them in her garage until it was time to get them ready for this Easter.
The same day Iris brought in her stash of baskets and eggs, Brad Aikin was trying to figure out a project his group could do together to help his community. Brad recently started a local chapter of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association and needed a way for these strangers, only connected by collegiate ties, to bond together while giving back with their time. Several other members of the group bought a couple bags of candy, some small toys and met one night to assemble the baskets.
Now, because of some outside-the-box thinking and aligning volunteer opportunities with the passions of our volunteers, Easter will be a little bit brighter for 70 children.
So, what are YOU passionate about?
For event opportunities, click here.
To contact the Volunteer Coordinator about your passion, email him here.