People Make the Difference: The Joys of Discovery

Each day, people discover ways they can make a difference. And as the VolunteerMatch network grows, so does our impact.You may have noticed lately that we’ve been highlighting the data and stats in our 2013 Annual Impact Report. And these numbers are exciting, don’t get me wrong. We’re data nerds with the best of them.

But data isn’t the whole picture, especially when we’re talking about social impact. The truth is, there’s no substitute for the stories behind those numbers. These are what show us that each one of us – staff member, employee, volunteer, company, nonprofit – can make a difference. Hearing about real-life stuff going on in the network is what inspires us to take action.

So as you browse the Impact Report, take a look at some of these great micro stories that showcase the amazing work happening in the VolunteerMatch network. You’ll see how technology, and your company’s use of it, creates real change in the community.

Each day, people discover ways they can make a difference. And as our network grows, so does our impact.

Keep up the great work!

Has VolunteerMatch made a difference for your company and employees? Share it on social media using #vmstory, or submit the full story here!

Has VolunteerMatch made a difference for your company and employees? Share it on social media using #vmstory, or submit the full story here!

1 thought on “People Make the Difference: The Joys of Discovery”

  • 1
    Dan B. on September 10, 2014

    Passion for Volunteering >
    There are 10s of thousands of Volunteers that could have written this article. There are two ways to volunteer, the messy way and the clean way, the messy way is by donating your time helping the ones in need, the clean way is by donating your money to Organizations that help the needy, both are equally important, my way is mostly the messy way. Whether one volunteers in a group, or on a one to one basis, or as a neighbor helping a neighbor, I truly believe, all volunteers help themselves by helping others, regardless if it’s a hour a week or several, depending on one’s other obligations.
    Let me tell you 4 instances of my experiences. Just about any volunteer could have reported volunteering experiences just like these.
    I drove this lady to Barnett Delaney with MD (Maculate Degeneration). She herself was a volunteer at the hospital, but no longer could be, so with her own money she knitted quilts, doilies and donated them to the Salvation Army, Benevilla & other such Organizations. I like talking & getting to know people when I drive them, She was born in German and spent her youth in a concentration camp. I realized as she spoke I was driving a survivor of the Holocaust. It was her birthday, while she was in with the doctor, I got her flowers, I made that woman so happy, she cried. Few weeks later I took her back to her follow up appointment, as I drove her home, she gave me a plastic grocery bag, in it, she knitted me a pair of socks.
    Another lady who lost her husband about 6 months earlier was very quiet, I usually try to be upbeat, it worked, I helped her at home with some bookkeeping, setting up Doctor appointments in an organized way, plus just being a friendly visitor. The last time I visited was my last time, as her Daughter was taking her to live with her in California, she was quiet, I asked her if she wanted to go anywhere, She hesitated, I asked again, She said she would like to go the cemetery to see her husband. I took her there, on Grand Ave., Few weeks later, helping another widow of 25 years whose refrigerator went on the blink, getting her bags ice over the weekend, she just happened to mention she hasn’t been to see her husband for 10 years or so, an assignment was set to take her to Sun City on a Sunday to visit her husband, she brought flowers and spent the afternoon.
    Some assignments have fun attached to them, I had one that once a month I took the husband & wife to Wal-Mart as they stocked up for the month. The husband was always allowed 2 Six-Packs of Beer per month. One month, a Holiday was coming and so was there family. She was purchasing a lot more, he wanted 3 Six-Packs, because of the company, She said no, we needed too many other things, I looked at him, winked & put an extra Six-Pack in the cart. Driving home, she was in the back seat checking the register tape and screamed and screamed his name out, I jumped and the car swerved. She said to her husband, I told you only 2 Six-Packs, Well I had to admit it was me. We all had a good laugh and sang 99 cans of Beer on the wall, the rest of the way home.
    The last assignment was taking a Lady to Chemo infusions once a week, if her blood count was too low to receive the Chemo, the tears and sadness prevailed driving her back home, the times her blood count was OK, the hi-fives and cheers as the infusions took place. When the treatments where over, several weeks later She called, I could tell She was crying, She said the Doctor called Her and He said, I was Cancer free, and She could now concentrate on taking care of her husband who has dementia.
    Those are just 4 assignments I thought of for this article. I try to stay away from talking Religion or Politics, but sometimes it just pops up. Told one lady on a visit as she asked me about weekends, I told her I go to the hospital for my Church, She then told me, “You know, only sinners go to Church”. One lady I was driving started in on Pres Obama, and kept it up for about 10 minutes, I just listened. Then she stopped, looked at me and said, ‘Well, say something, what do you think” I told her I voted for him, I think she went a little berserk, She said didn’t you hear what I just said, how could you have voted for him?
    Well I told her I wasn’t the only one, He became president.
    I like quotes related to helping someone, “You help yourself by helping others”, “Judge a person by what he does, not what he says”, “Go out and preach the Bible, but don’t use words” and the one I like “Be rainbow in some ones Cloud”

    My name isn’t important, just one of thousands of Volunteers. I’m 80 years old, a widower, still going strong, and I am very lucky health wise, take only one pill, and enjoy meeting and helping people, I’m paying back.. I once had a drinking problem, but now I haven’t had a drink in about 25 years. I truly believe by keeping busy, during the final years of my work years, then as a caretaker for my wife, and now as a Volunteer, 7 days a week, it solved that problem. Maybe whatever your status in life or concerns you have, volunteering maybe would work for you, it worked for me.
    I’ll Closeout this article with a Blessed Mother Teresa Quote “We all can’t do great things, but we all can do little things with great love”

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