Giving and getting: It’s a two-way street

Three Cheers for Cape and Islands Volunteers, November/December Cape Cod Life | capecodlife.com

Volunteers help things run swimmingly at the Martha’s Vineyard Boys & Girls Club.

At the Martha’s Vineyard Boys & Girls Club, volunteers help the club operate and provide affordable after-school programming for more than 100 children on a daily basis. The volunteers range in age from high school students to retirees. “Whether it’s working the grill at an event, helping out with a sports team or with homework, or serving on the board of directors, each volunteer knows they are having a direct impact on local kids,” says Jessie Damroth, the club’s executive director.

The beauty of volunteering is it doesn’t require special skills or experience; all it takes is a willingness to share of one’s time and passion. Andi Genser, executive director of WE CAN, puts it like this: “It’s a two-way street,” she says. “It has to feel like it works for you—and that you’re helping the organization in their work.” When someone is invested in the work, Genser says they are sure to get more out of the experience. “Most volunteers tell us that they feel they get more than they give,” she says.