Volunteer Appreciation Week 2020

Volunteers are a Valuable Asset to the Community

National Volunteer Week, April 19-25, is a time for organizations across the country to honor volunteers for the irreplaceable impact of their time and energy all year round.  

“At Acenda, volunteers are at the heart of everything we do,” says Mari Considine, Chief Development Marketing Officer, Acenda. “From guiding today’s youth by serving as mentors, helping with Spirit of the Holidays, participating in Community Care Day, or supplying items for our Backpack Drive, our volunteers are always willing to do whatever it takes to help move our community forward.” 

For those interested in volunteeringhere are six benefits of sharing your passion with a nonprofit: 
  • Meet new people. Volunteering helps you expand your contacts in the community who have the same goals and interests as you. 
  • Gain confidence. Volunteering can help you gain confidence by giving you something to work on and see the results that you helped to achieve. 
  • Make a difference. Volunteering can have a real and valuable positive affect on people when you know you have helped change lives or made an impact in the community. 
  • Acquire new skills. Volunteering can expand your knowledge as you will be connecting with new people, organizations and businesses. 
  • Improve mood. Volunteering makes you feel good about helping others and when you are feeling good emotionally, your overall health will be better as well. 
  • Gives you a purpose. Volunteering for the good of the community can bring both fun and fulfilment to your life. 
Each year during Volunteer Appreciation Week, we highlight some of our most dedicated volunteers. Read their inspiring thoughts on what volunteering means to them, below:
photo of volunteers Penelope and Arthur Rone at the beach

Penelope & Arthur Ronevolunteer at our annual Backpack Drive, Spirit of the Holidays, and Oasis Family Success Center. 

“We live in Ocean County and I was very happy when Oasis opened in Barnegat, because I knew there were a lot of folks in the area who would benefit from the services provided by the Family Success Center,” says Penelope. “I offered my services, gave a few classes and helped out with some programs, which led to learning about the work Acenda is doing all over the state. My husband, Art, and I were happy to help out with the annual Backpack Drive and Spirit of the Holidays toy event. We are both impressed and heartened by the needs that Acenda is addressing in our communities and very proud to be a small part of that effort.” 

Smiley Neeley, volunteers regularly at Mosaic Family Success Center and each year at Community Care Day, Backpack Drive, and Spirit of the Holidays. 

“I always enjoy volunteering at Acenda because I believe dreams do come true, and at Acenda, you are always welcome.” 

portrait of volunteer Smiley Neeley
photo of phi beta sigma fraternity volunteers

Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., Gloucester County Alumni Chaptervolunteers annually at our Spirit of the Holidays toy drive. 

Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., Gloucester County Alumni Chapter, partners with Acenda because we find commonality in the agency’s mission and the motto of our own organization: ‘Culture for Service. Service for Humanity.’  Like our fraternity, Acenda has created a strong culture of serving the community over the years in an effort to help others when they need it most; something we greatly admire. Spirit of the Holidays remains one of our favorite volunteer events in Gloucester County. Thank you for serving our communities the way that you do!” 

Dr. Sean McMillanvolunteers on our board of trustees and supports our annual Child Abuse Prevention Month campaign, Backpack Drive, and Spirit of the Holidays initiatives. 

“The opportunity to volunteer with Acenda has been extremely rewarding. Acenda touches so many lives right here in the community where I live. The tangible proximity of the lives we were able to affect through giving back is quite incredible. Our favorite event to be a part of is the Spirit of the Holidays.  As a family, we have been very blessed and the joy we were able to pass along to others during the holiday season has had a lasting effect on us.” 

photo of volunteer Sean McMillan standing next to potted pinwheel garden
portrait of volunteer mentor Paige Raffaele

Paige Raffaelevolunteer mentor, Adolescent Mentoring Program 

“I am thankful for my volunteering experience through Acenda's Adolescent Mentoring Program. I've enjoyed being matched as a mentor and spending time in ways that have been enriching for both myself and my mentee. Another huge benefit of volunteering through Acenda has been the support of the staff in navigating a mentoring relationship. The experience has allowed me to learn useful information from quality training, and the chance to connect with others who are interested in contributing to the community. I highly recommend anyone looking to give back locally to consider volunteering with Acenda.”