VOLUNTEERS DONATED 13,026 HOURS OF SERVICE TO ARIZONA HELPING HANDS IN 2019!

If you search for reasons to volunteer, you might come across a list of great reasons. Responses could be to help others, to make a difference, to meet new people or to expand your horizons. It could be to contribute to a cause you care about, or even to impress your mom (or maybe yourself).

The Corporation for National and Community Service says that volunteering improves psychological and physical health. Volunteers reap the benefits of feeling a personal sense of accomplishment while building social networks that, in turn, support them in times of stress.

Arizona Helping Hands relies on an army of volunteers to assist in our service to boys and girls in foster care. In 2019 alone 1,397 individuals dedicated 13,026 hours of work to aid in our mission of bringing hope to kids who have been abused and neglected. On average that’s 36 hours each and every day of the year! John has run delivery and ran errands. Rich has stacked diapers in the warehouse. Linda has answered the phones while Phyllis and Ellen wrap birthday presents.

Corporations have sent in teams of workers to assist, GoDaddy employees sorted holiday toy donations, VOYA staff decorated birthday bags with messages of hope. It takes many hands to accomplish all the good that we do for boys and girls every single day of the year

I love asking our volunteers what they get out of volunteering.  Our regular weekly people will point to the camaraderie they’ve built with new friends. Those who come for a one-time project might talk about how it made them feel good. There are some for whom volunteering in our warehouse is therapy for loss or pain.

I’ve met more than one volunteer who has told me that we made a profound impact in their life. Their helping hands will give a child a safe place to sleep tonight or will say happy birthday to a child who has been neglected and forgotten. Using their time and talent to make life better for others has given them purpose. Volunteers have told me that Arizona Helping Hands is their church, their way to give back and feel that they are making a difference.

More than one volunteer has said that loss of a spouse left them in a state of depression, and that by putting their efforts into helping others they have found a way to cope and to move forward.

We rely on the generosity of each and every one of our volunteers. Your time is a gift to us, and to the boys and girls whose lives we impact every day. From my desk I can see volunteers log in and out on our tracking forms. I love seeing the smiles on their faces as they sign in for their shift, and it seems to me that smile is even bigger when they sign out. They know that their time has been spent helping children, and I don’t think there can be any better form of therapy.

Thank you to all our volunteers. With your helping hands, there is no limit to the good we can do!

Dan Shufelt is the President & CEO of Arizona Helping Hands, the largest provider of basic needs to Arizona’s children in foster care. Learn more about the Organization at www.azhelpinghands.org and contact Dan at dshufelt@azhelpinghands.org

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As long as children are abused and neglected, and as long as drug and alcohol addictions riddle our society, there will be a need for foster care. Whether you need a hand or want to lend one, get in touch. Together we can make a difference.

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