Girl Planting seeds

Nobility Calls

Janice_with_nameBy Deirdre Imus, 10-18-2018
Some make Volunteering a lifetime endeavor and inspire others to do the same. It can happen by accident.  I look back at my childhood and what drew me to help others and it was and is as simple as you see someone who needs help and you help them. In high school I volunteered as a candy striper in a local hospital. I believe that planted a seed to want to always help someone. I also volunteered a summer in high school helping children with muscular dystrophy. I remember helping them with routine tasks such as brushing their teeth, feeding them lunch, all the things most of us take for granted. These early experiences of volunteerism planted a seed to continue on that path. The Imus Ranch for kids with cancer has been my most fulfilling of what true volunteerism can be.  Meister

Volunteerism is a virtue, and one which far too few people engage in regularly. The opportunities of where and how to volunteer are virtually endless – at a soup kitchen or animal shelter; in the offices of a local or national charity; for an organization that builds houses for underserved communities, or scrubs graffiti off walls, or picks up litter off streets, or tutors kids after school. Volunteering can meet your interests, or thrust you into a wholly new world. The choice is yours, the benefit is theirs.

As it happens, donating time to a worthy cause is among the healthier habits one can undertake. According to the Mayo Clinic’s website, research has found that volunteering can lower rates of depression; help people remain mentally and physically active; reduce stress; increase longevity; and foster new relationships. It’s a noble thing to do for sure, but with some selfish benefits that shouldn’t be overlooked.

The longer you stick with a particular cause or charity, the more ingrained you’ll become in its purpose and function. Ginny_with_nameWe’ve seen that firsthand here at The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center, where many devoted volunteers have come and gone over the years, each providing much-needed support to our mission. However, there are two volunteers who came and have never left. And for that, we are grateful.

Ginny Lieneck and Janice Meister arrived at our center more than a decade ago, and have since dedicated hours and hours of time to assisting us with tasks both major and mundane. They’ve labelled jars and filed documents and arranged logistics for events inside and out of our home at Hackensack University Medical Center. They are but two of the two-thousand volunteers at Hackensack University Medical Center, and while they could offer their services anywhere, they’ve chosen to stick with us. Ginny and Janice have both reported how fulfilling it is to contribute to an organization they believe in, and to learn a ton of valuable health information along the way. We’ve learned a bit from them too – about service, dedication, and selflessness. 

“Working at the Center has been a very enriching experience for me. I always look forward to coming every week. It keeps me engaged with current events. “ Ginny Lieneck

" I was raised in a family where volunteerism  was a life style. As a teenager, like Deirdre Imus, I was a Candy Striper at a local hospital. As I looked forward to retirement my thoughts went to what I would do to make a contribution to society and be able to give back for all of the gifts that I have been given in life. I attended a luncheon where Deirdre Imus  was the speaker. I listened to her message and felt that I would like to join her team and volunteer at The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center®. There are so many amazing things happening there from research to environmental programs. The staff is extremely caring and committed to their mission. I receive more than I give to the Center and am privileged to be a part of what they stand for."  Janice Meister

So, what are you waiting for? No amount of time is too small to give of yourself to a nonprofit in need. Whether you can give one full day per week or just one hour, find a cause that resonates with you, and give it your all. Check out Volunteer Match to find an opportunity near you – and seize it.

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