New Canaan Advertiser Op-Ed: "Resolve to make a difference this year"
Posted on January 17, 2019
Four hundred active volunteers enrich the lives of patients and residents at Waveny LifeCare Network each and every day. They bring a surge of energy and warmth that is palpable. It is their commitment to their community, their caring nature, their enrichment and the rewards of giving that accords Waveny its community feel. The presence of volunteers removes any feeling of isolation and boosts their spirit knowing that friends and neighbors care. Volunteering is a great gift and warmly given and received.
Our volunteers come to us for a variety of reasons, often motivated to give something back to their community and to help others. Others express a feeling of satisfaction to see how their gift of time can make such a difference. At this time of year when we resolve to make positive changes in our lives, we invite you to consider giving of yourself at Waveny.
Volunteers know that there are many benefits of giving of your time to help others. When you focus on someone other than yourself, your stress levels decrease, and your overall sense of life satisfaction increases. When we stop thinking about our own problems and focus on the needs of others, we break the cycle of daily tension-producing patterns and replace it with a sense of purpose and positive emotions.
Volunteering can be an excellent way to boost your career prospects as well, helping to build your resume, all while developing a range of useful skills, and internal knowledge of how systems work. Employers rank volunteer participation highly when evaluating a candidate, and appreciate candidates with developed interpersonal skills. As a volunteer, you engage in creative problem-solving, interact with a healthy mix of personalities and adjust to a new environment. Volunteering helps to improve your teamwork, leadership, and people skills. Volunteering lets you meet people from all walks of life and gives you the chance to form relationships that can have a lasting impact on your life. You could meet a new friend or enjoy the opportunity to spend quality time with an old friend or neighbor you don’t see regularly.
Combining these benefits with all the altruistic reasons to volunteer makes for an unforgettable experience which will stay with you for the rest of your life. Your volunteering experience should start with your passions and at Waveny, we match volunteers’ interests with the needs of those in our care. Our professional director of volunteers will guide you in matching your skills and talents with the needs of our organization. As our volunteer, you become part of this vibrant community of caring individuals who connect with each other, making a difference in the lives of nearly 1,100 individuals annually. Our volunteers donate their time on their schedule, and their experience is customized based on their availability and interests. Do you enjoy history? Our residents have lived through some of the most remarkable periods of our country’s history and frequently share their perspectives in time.
Waveny’s volunteer program epitomizes the can-do spirit of our community, bringing together those who need help and those who want to brighten the lives of others. We are your neighbors and we are so grateful for the help of all our volunteers. Please join us and share your gifts. Whether you are serving in the dining room, leading an activity or visiting quietly with a resident, you will be making a huge impact!
Russell Barksdale is president and CEO of Waveny LifeCare Network.