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  • Writer's pictureNatalie Snedden

"The Impact of Volunteering: A Personal Reflection"

There are often unseen and unexpected rewards in being a helper. If you create space for volunteer experiences, you also make space for a gift that you didn’t ask for but will cherish. 

In advocacy and human services, it may appear like help goes in one direction. From the outside, it may seem like one group or person is gathering resources to provide for someone in need. What is only sometimes apparent is how the helper might have their own needs or be open to receiving something from those getting assistance. 

You might be surprised how interactions between Miss Sybil, a client, and board member and local social activist Phil Cuffey, create benefits for both. To the casual observer, Phil is there to give Miss Sybil a ride from the Decatur Recreation Center to the Frontine shelter.  But you would see much more if you were in the back seat on that 6-mile drive. With Al Green’s music in the background (“His classics soothe the soul!” says Phil.), Miss Sybil and Phil catch up on the happenings of their respective days.“We support each other through these regular interactions. She shares her wisdom and insights. And I offer what I can to make her life a little more comfortable.” Phil reflects. Many take these little joys for granted, but it sometimes eludes other members of our community. 

The volunteers at A Home know that simply handing out a lunch, blanket, or MARTA card may not satisfy the need for human connection. Making eye contact, acknowledging by name those we see regularly, and offering a hug or fist bump help the connection become more complete for both. 

Follow our newsletter, social media, and special announcements to see how you can help the unhoused in our community.

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