The Importance of Volunteering - Q&A with Shea Pullen of Goodwill Central Texas
Why is giving volunteer time important to our community and to Goodwill?
Volunteering gives individuals an opportunity to serve their community in ways they are truly passionate about. Having passion and service meet through volunteering not only benefits the community; it benefits the volunteer as well.
For Goodwill, when an individual or a team volunteers with us, the benefits are immediately felt. Volunteers provide resources, time, and expertise that we wouldn’t otherwise have. We have volunteers from all backgrounds – from computer programmers, to environmentalists, to school groups. Without them, we couldn’t fulfill our mission to generate lifelong connections to work!
Where did you get your passion for volunteerism?
Volunteering and helping others is a value that was instilled in me from a very young age. I think the passion was passed down to me from my Mom, who always made it a point to help others out of the goodness of her heart.
But I think it was being an AmeriCorps member for 3 years that truly cemented my commitment to volunteerism! I love watching volunteers learn new skills, work outside of their comfort zone, and grow as contributors to their community. On that note, I want to point out that we have an amazing AmeriCorps program here at Goodwill; I encourage you to give a year with them and with us!
What is Goodwill’s most popular volunteer program?
That’s a hard question to answer since we have so many opportunities that cater to a variety of interests. But, there is always a lot of excitement surrounding our Clothing Sweep during the Austin Marathon in February. As the marathoners are running, they drop their clothes throughout the course, and our volunteers pick them up and they are donated. Last year, with the help of our volunteers, we recovered 1200 pounds of clothing!
However, there is always a need for tutors in our GED classroom. Volunteering your time and effort to help our youth get the education and training they need to be contributing members to the Central Texas workforce is invaluable!
What future volunteer opportunities do you see Goodwill offering?
I could see us offering volunteer opportunities in our recycling efforts, especially through our Goodwill Resource Center.
How can someone get involved with Goodwill’s volunteer program?
First, you should visit our volunteer page and find out which opportunities appeal to you. Next, fill out our Volunteer form (either for an individual or a group). If you have any questions along the way, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 512-637-7161. Hope to see you soon!
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