Why Do I Volunteer?

According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, more Americans than ever are volunteering. A report released in late 2018 revealed that 77.34 million adults volunteered through an organization in the year prior. Altogether, American volunteer hours captured in the report totaled nearly 6.9 billion, worth an estimated $167 billion in economic value.

“The fabric of our nation is strengthened by the service of its volunteers. When we stand side-by-side to help others, our differences fade away and we learn that Americans have more in common than we realize. Each and every day, ordinary Americans are stepping up to support their fellow citizens to help with needs both great and small because they understand the power service has to change communities and lives for the better,” says Barbara Stewart, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Here at Three Pillars, we are honored to have countless vibrant residents who volunteer regularly, both inside our own nonprofit organization’s walls, as well as out in the greater community.

When asked why they volunteer, their responses were inspiring (and sure to make you smile):

  • My father’s words were always: “The best exercise for a man’s heart is when he bends down and lifts an-other up. Start lifting.” Thanks Dad. —Nina R.
  • My wife says volunteers live longer, so I volunteer.  —Anonymous
  • Sometimes a job needs to be done that isn’t going to be done by paid staff but that will enhance the lives of residents. Probably the most personally rewarding kind of volunteering is where I see a need I can fill for another and go about doing something for that person. —Jane B.
  • Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be helpful any way I can. It makes me feel useful. It makes me happy. —Lois B.
  • It gets me out of my apartment and I get involved in what is going on in the [building] and in Dousman. . . It is fun, challenging, and frustrating sometimes, but always interesting. —Gini B.
  • I volunteer to learn new things and to be challenged mentally and physically. —Virgil D.
  • Volunteers receive more returned satisfaction from their participation than they give of themselves. Volunteers often motivate others to volunteer. It’s important to share what we still know and can do. —Carol A.
Independent living residents volunteer to help share their skills in a drawing class
“It’s important to share what we still know and can do.” – Carol A.
  • I feel that I am the luckiest girl in the world. I want to share that happiness in a small way with people, while I still can. That is my simple answer. —Gurli E.
  • Simply put, I always thought of it as a way to pay back the community that was so good to my family. —Chuck H.
two senior living residents working on craft project for charity
  • Volunteering is good for the soul. . . . To be a volunteer is to help others in some way. . . . We can create a happier and healthier life for others and for ourselves through volunteering. —Gail M.
  • I appreciate all the gifts and opportunities I have been given and want to share them with others. I want to spend my days contributing, not just reading or playing cards, or doing things to pleasure myself. Basically, I want to wear out not rust out. —Nettie S.
  • Special thanks to Village on the Square residents Vera Ludwigsen & Louise Diodato who compiled these responses from their peers to feature in the community newsletter and shared for our blog.