Community Service for the Holidays
Volunteering plays a huge role in the health of our society. People place so much value on it that a 2018 report showed that Americans volunteered almost 6.9 billion hours, worth an estimated $167B in economic value. Here in Nebraska, we take participating in volunteering opportunities throughout the year as crucial to our community’s health, and it becomes even more important and impactful during the holidays. Let’s talk about ways your family can contribute to the community during the holidays and the benefits of giving back to the community have on family members with disabilities.
Ways to Give Back to the Disabled Community
Volunteering your time and effort beyond your full-time career in order to give back to your local community can be extremely fulfilling on a personal level, but it can also have a huge impact on businesses and the disabled community as well. Because people are often on vacation during the holidays and have more personal time to devote to community activities, the holidays offer a special chance for volunteers to maximize the impact they have on community integration, skills-development, community improvement and economic growth.
Volunteering Supports Community Integration
Community integration for the developmentally disabled is one of our core missions at Hands of Heartland. As a privately owned and operated organization, we focus exclusively on the experience of the individuals under our care. This means that in order to create career opportunities and creative endeavors for our clients, we have to rely on volunteers working through our partnerships and relationships with the surrounding community to make these programs successful avenues of integration for the disabled community.
Community Co-Ops Encourage Creativity And Teach New Skills
Historically, the developmentally disabled community has had to operate workshops and hold events sequestered from the public eye. In the modern arena of care, organizations like Hands of Heartland have thrust the disabled community out of the shadows and into the light of the communities where they live. Volunteer work supports creative co-op programs where individuals with developmental disabilities can strengthen communication, vocational, and life skills.
Create a Stronger Community
Because our co-op programs operate alongside the community and with the assistance of community involvement and volunteer work, our focus on integration bridges segments of the community that might never otherwise interact. The improved social connection with the community, as well as improved mental health, physical health, and quality of life provide incremental but highly impactful community improvements over time. For our volunteers in college looking to enhance school applications and resumes, our volunteer opportunities can provide excellent foundational life experiences.
Building up the Local Economy
Our supported employment programs allow businesses throughout the community the opportunity through advocacy and coordinated effort to employ individuals with disabilities in ways that are mutually beneficial to both parties. The added benefits of employing individuals with disabilities include increased employee retention and attracting potential employees and clients who prefer to work with organizations with a service-based mindset.
Benefits to Your Loved Ones
Allowing loved ones with disabilities to volunteer alongside you in the very programs that benefit them have tremendous impact on their health and wellness.
Providing them with the ability to help and contribute to programs that help others empowers them and shows them that they can make an impact where they live, improving their confidence and self-esteem. It further shows them that their families support them and have faith in their ability to be active and involved in their community. An additional benefit to participating in volunteering opportunities during the holidays is the ability to bring joy and well-being to others and to develop an ongoing passion for helping others in the process.
A Mission Built Around Service to the Community
Our mission at Hands of Heartland is to empower, educate, and improve the lives of those under our care. Volunteer programs play a vital role in that mission, and during the holidays, our mission of integration and community involvement becomes even more of a focus. Contact us today to see how you can get involved and help support our mission.