Thank You, Volunteers

 You Are Making a Difference

National Volunteer Week was celebrated April 7-13. What a great opportunity to pause and recognize all those who selflessly give back to their communities!

National Volunteer Week was first established in 1974 by Presidential Proclamation.  Today, it continues to be an opportunity to highlight the work and generosity of volunteers. Across the country, over 60 million Americans give around 8 billion hours of their time each year, valued at an estimated 193 billion dollars.  

The Front Door Agency is grateful to its many generous volunteers. We have some folks who commit to showing up every week, all year long and others who turn out for special projects or as part of the area’s United Way Day of Caring.  Our front reception desk is staffed almost exclusively by volunteers — adding up to a total of 32 volunteer hours each week or more than 1600 hours annually! We also have dedicated volunteers who share their expertise or passions weekly — offering accounting and business skills or babysitting in our Transformational Housing Program.

Add to this the many volunteers who turn out for our special events — to help with gift distribution during our Holiday Program, for example. For more than 25 years, volunteers were also the heart of our High 5/Give 5 Penny Picker campaign, which raised nearly a million dollars to support our mission. This campaign was fueled by many student athletes, and individuals from church and school groups — including Nashua High Schools (North and South), Merrimack High School, Souhegan High School, Rivier University and so many more!

Our dedicated Board of Directors also volunteer their time and are often on the front lines during special events. Some of them quietly perform maintenance and other tasks behind the scenes when needed — like installing a basketball hoop at one of our apartments or responding to a call for much-needed baby items.

What Volunteering Means to the Volunteer

Volunteering allows for us to do something that gives back to our community.  For me, this blog is one way to do that.

When I first started volunteering at the Front Door Agency, I was feeling pretty down about myself in a lot of ways.  I had a surplus of free time and was spending a lot of it just filling the hours.

I’ve always enjoyed writing, and these blog posts have been a way for me to focus that into something productive.  Working within limitations can be challenging, but it’s also rewarding to be able to do something useful while practicing a skill that I enjoy.

I think that’s true for a lot of volunteers.  When you know that you’re doing something that impacts and helps other people, that’s a great feeling.  You can also use volunteering to help add structure to a day.  Plus, you have a reason to connect with people in the community.

The Best Time to Volunteer is Now!

National Volunteer Week is a great time to get started with volunteering!  If you’ve been thinking about it but haven’t gotten around to it, why not start now?

One great way to get started is through The United Way’s website.  You can search for opportunities that match your availability and interests and get involved.