Giving back to our neighbors has been a part of our mission for more than 125 years. As a fraternal benefit society, we have a system of chapters across the country dedicated to our neighbor-helping-neighbors legacy. We also offer myriad ways for our members to turn their passion for volunteerism into action.
Volunteerism provides countless benefits to the community – and to the volunteer! It’s a give-and-take relationship that generates positive experiences for all parties involved. (See our previous article on how Giving Back is Good for You)
While the end goal of this service work is the spread of social good and support throughout communities, volunteerism also provides opportunities for our members to build relevant leadership skills.
A few of our Chapter Leaders share some of the ways their service has helped them grow:
Building Your Network
Long-time Chapter Leader Lana Bjerstedt from Chapter 5052 in River Falls, Wisconsin, finds that her service work is a meaningful part of her personal network. “We meet such nice people, and the other volunteers become our friends,” Ms. Bjerstedt said.
Developing Patience and Compassion
Diane Talbert from Chapter 9890 in Riverbank, California, focuses her donated time on improving the lives of veterans and senior citizens. She knows that patience is required, and she has honed this leadership skill while giving back her time. “With homeless veterans, I have learned patience, to go slow, and to gain their trust,” she explains. “I consider them my heroes. Senior citizens are more open, and light up when they see you coming. I always feel good after spending time with them.”
Investing in the Next Generation
Bobbi Jo Gofus, Chapter 220, Bagley, Wisconsin, was raised by a family that valued volunteerism. She is continuing this legacy. “The fact that volunteering is something you can do as a family is awesome. I have not always been in a financial position to be able to donate but volunteering my time is something that I definitely can and will always be able to do.”
Spring is a time of renewal and growth. What better time to explore new and different ways to reap the benefits of volunteerism? For your community and for yourself.
“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” – Ghandi