National Volunteer Week – Let’s Celebrate!

Contributed by Brooks Kenny, Chief Marketing Officer and part of the Founding Team of Lotsa Helping Hands

It’s National Volunteer Week, and as the nation celebrates people helping one another, we are excited, inspired, and proud to be a part of it. National Volunteer Week, created by our friends at Points of Light and the HandsOn Network, is a celebration dedicated to recognizing and encouraging community members to take action and make a difference.

This celebration of volunteers has generated a lot of discussion with our team about the power of giving and receiving. We are a company that believes in giving back. So we’re sharing our own stories and the stories of our incredible members.

I grew up in a community that helped one another. My mom was a single mom raising three girls.

On Sundays she brought us to the nursing home in my town to deliver flowers to the residents, and every December, we bought Christmas presents for a homeless family. Now, as a mother, I feel compelled to teach my kids to give back as well. Santa doesn’t come to our house unless each family member has donated to others the number of items that matches our age. My kids’ lemonade stands are always tied to a cause – this summer, we’ll support an animal rescue center.

Here at Lotsa Helping Hands, Gregory Ralich from our Member Support Center loves to bike for a good cause. In 2010, he biked from Boston to San Francisco to raise money for Autism. And Courtney Allen, our Marketing Specialist, has helped serve meals to homeless youth. CEO and Co-Founder Hal Chapel rolled up his sleeves last fall to build a playground in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

What inspires us most though are the volunteers in our 60,000 Lotsa Helping Hands Communities.  This month, in honor of National Volunteer Week,  we invited volunteers to share their stories – and we were overwhelmed by what we learned.

From Janet in Missouri, who uses Lotsa Helping Hands to organize nearly 300 volunteers to provide shelter, food, and services for 100 homeless people in the area, to Younggy from Massachusetts who evolved his cooking skills from making single dinners at home to commanding multiple frying pans at once to support a Lotsa Helping Hands Community. And, 80-year-old Lois from Idaho, who cares for the babies of young mothers through Lotsa Helping Hands.

While there are countless ways to volunteer, here at Lotsa Helping Hands, we focus on bringing volunteers together to help caregivers in their community.  With more than 65 million caregivers caring for aging loved ones or those with chronic disease or disability in our country, we believe that volunteers can serve as the fuel to providing caregivers with the help they so desperately need.

This week, we’re celebrating the one million remarkable Lotsa Helping Hands volunteers across the country who have participated in our online caring Communities – responding to more than 3 million requests for help. That’s powerful.

We’re all really busy, but giving back and volunteering feeds the soul. Whether it is helping a neighbor, bringing a meal to a family coping with a medical crisis, or donating your time, it all makes a difference. Tell us how you have volunteered this year or post a comment and let us know how you plan, through volunteering, to help others in your community. And remember, volunteering is not just for National Volunteer Week!