You know the feeling, a wide smile across your face, a sense of purpose, maybe a little tired but completely satisfied with the day - you just spent the day volunteering for a worthy cause. It's hard to leave a volunteer opportunity not feeling like you, one person, has made a difference.Often, we also leave with a new skill. If you've ever helped at a Habitat for Humanity build, had you ever built a house before? Volunteering exposes us to new environments, people, and experiences.
As a nonprofit organization we understand the importance of volunteers. Some things just wouldn't be able to happen without them, like the annual Roundup for Autism (www.roundupforautism.org). We at ATC are given so much by our volunteers, we want to give back too. And, we do!
Many of the adults with autism in our program do just that; giving back to the community by consistently volunteering with other nonprofits like Meals on Wheels and World of Goods. Collectively, our adults give over 1,500 hours of their time volunteering each month. These activities allow the adults in our program to gain job experience, build self-esteem, and make new friends.
We asked a few of the adults what they think of volunteering at Meals on Wheels, and here is what they had to say:
"I deliver food in the community to people that need it. I enjoy it. My favorite thing about it is just being able to help people in the community. I give the meals to old and sick people. I love the cat person. (A man we deliver to with many many cats.)" - Daniel
"We deliver food. I pick up the meals and deliver it whenever they need it. I give it to the old ladies in the apartments. I like doing it all the time." - Bobby
"I deliver food to old people! I like it. My favorite thing is giving people their meals and everything. I want to tell them thank you for letting me help." - Lora
On behalf of Lora and everyone in the volunteer program, we extend a big Thank You to all of the programs giving us the opportunity to give back!