Volunteers are Priceless, Not Worthless

Vol-un-teer (noun): a person who freely offers to take part in an enterprise or undertake a task.

In 2012, 64.5 million Americans (26.5% of the population) contributed 7.9 billion hours of volunteer service worth an estimated $175 billion of service.

Volunteers have a better chance of finding a job after being out of work than non-volunteers.

Citizens who participate in one area of civic engagement, like volunteering, are more likely to get involved in groups, contact public officials, or work with neighbors.

Facts courtesy of United Way

“Volunteers are not paid — not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless”

Pathway would not be Pathway without our volunteers.

The volunteers at Pathway Caring for Children not only donate their time to assist staff, but in one way or another, they are making a difference in the lives of the children and families we serve. Our volunteers invest their time and talents in many different ways.

In 2016, 195 volunteers devoted 1,775 hours to Pathway. Volunteers taught skills including cooking, home repairs and maintenance, photography, art, and interview skills to Pathway children. Volunteers also helped host a Christmas party for Pathway foster families and wrapped presents for Pathway children. Many volunteers also helped to plan Pathway’s annual dinner and auction event, as well as other fundraising events. No matter what they did, a great number of lives were impacted and services were enriched.

JJ Rhoades, a Pathway volunteer, is one of many who have not only contributed positively to the lives of children, but has learned something from his experiences.

JJ has been a volunteer for about a year. He heard that someone at work was looking into fostering and so he did his own research on Pathway. He knew he always wanted to do something to help. “I genuinely like to help someone if they need help and I think that more people should,” JJ said.

He continues to feel motivated to help kids. He expressed that we live in the greatest country in the world, but yet kids are still going through these terrible things; it shouldn’t be like that. We agree.

He attended TRUST camp last year and he is fully committed to the Independent Living Groups (IL). He doesn’t miss a week because he knows how important it is for our kids to see the same people show up consistently in their lives — they don’t need another person who leaves them.

At the IL Groups, he does whatever is needed of him. This could be just hanging out and interacting with the kids, or teaching maintenance and mechanics (like how to change oil or fix a hole in a wall in an economical way). JJ uses his background and the skills he has to show the kids how to do these things.

His coaching skills (JJ was previously a wrestling coach) are not as useful. Pathway children are not exactly wrestlers who can be coached in intense and demanding ways. JJ has learned to be more reserved at the Jim Bridges Learning Center (where the IL Groups take place). “They teach me a lot and help me with my patience,” JJ said.

JJ has become a weekly favorite among our IL teens. They enjoy his company and feel they are able to confide in him. He has built trusting relationships with Pathway teens, something they may not have had with an adult before JJ entered their lives.

This is just one story, but JJ represents the dedication, passion and heart that so many of our volunteers have.

Thank you to all of our volunteers who assist Pathway in fulfilling our mission and making the world a better place by enriching the lives of our children.

If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Deb Garrott at 330–493–0083 or email her at dgarrott@pathwaycfc.org. There are many ways to get involved. Some we are currently looking for include:

-Photographer: Volunteer your time and talents to capture TRUST Camp on July 25th and/or July 26th

-Guitar Teacher: Teach guitar lessons to 2 Pathway teen boys

-Auction Committee: Join Friends of Pathway Committee to help plan Pathway’s 45th anniversary auction event in 2018

You can also view a list of ongoing needs by going to our website pathwaycfc.org and clicking on the “Donate” tab.

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