Volunteering is the ultimate experience in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in. (Anonymous)
The fact that you are reading this blog indicates that you appreciate the Refuge: whether it's viewing wildlife; photographing and painting scenery and birds; hiking; launching your kayak or fishing boat; visiting the lighthouse; or any other of the myriad reasons that we visit. Maybe you just want some good revitalizing time away from your work or busy lifestyle.
I first started volunteering at the refuge about 25 years ago working in the Visitor Center on weekends. I had been visiting the refuge for many years enjoying its beauty and occasionally counting on its serenity to regain my senses during rough times. I wanted to give something back to this incredible place. Being a nurse, I was uncertain that I had any skills that were needed. Well, how wrong I was! I found that greeting and helping people in the Visitor Center was immensely rewarding and educational. Many wonderful years later look where I am now.
Research shows that there are 5 Reasons why you should consider volunteering.
Volunteers live longer and are healthier
Volunteering establishes strong relationships
Volunteering is good for your career
Volunteering is good for society
Volunteering gives you a sense of purpose
Although it is not well-understood why volunteering provides such a profound health benefit, a key factor is assumed to be that volunteering serves to express and facilitate opportunities to carry out one's sense of purpose. (Psychology Today, March 2014.)
There is something incredibly satisfying in helping to support the Refuge's diverse environment and its history. Working with the Friends group is working with like-minded people who want to give back to the refuge.
Would you like to give something back to the place that provides so much joy for you?
The Friends group can always suggest volunteer opportunities that will help us fulfill our mission. We would not be able to continue doing our work without people joining the effort.
Perhaps you are interested in planning activities or working with fundraising or bookkeeping. Maybe you are only able to work inside at the Visitor Center. There are plenty of things to do. Every project that I have worked on has given me great joy and satisfaction. That includes pulling invasive weeds to putting on ice cream socials. Sometimes it is tiring but it is all rewarding.
Everyone has expertise to offer, and we would love to have you volunteer with us, work with us, and help us.