Why I Give: Putting Service at the Center of My Life
A decade ago, California marketing manager Erin Woody was building her career and working excessive hours each week. She loved her job, but was missing a central element of her life: Community service. Determining that “weekend volunteering” didn’t satisfy, and long-term commitments such as mentoring at-risk teens exceeded her available time, she searched the internet for an alternative. When she found Global Volunteers, she was hooked. Read on to learn why Erin’s become a 4-time volunteer and monthly donor.
Erin was immediately drawn to Global Volunteers’ two-week itinerary, she said, because it was long enough to make a difference, but short enough to fit into her busy work life. “Moreover, I really felt that Global Volunteers had the kind of story that assured me that you were making long-term commitments, which was important to me.” The second and third draws were the wide range of project options and the support and guidance from staff throughout the registration process.
“The volunteer opportunities were tweaked in a way that I didn’t feel intimidated. I thought I could use my skill set. And, then after a lot researching, when I finally reached out, I thought that the (Global Volunteers) team was just really, really nice. They listened and genuinely wanted to help me find the right service option.”– Erin Woody
After her first program in Poland, Erin said she was motivated to contribute to fundraising appeals as well. “I invest my time in the organization, and I know a lot of the resources I spend to go on the programs go to the bottom line, so why wouldn’t I also help another way?” She emphasized that through her monthly and annual donations, she feels “fully a part of Global Volunteers.”
“You know better than I do where the needs are, but I love the idea of being able to picture each month how I’m contributing to the long-term benefit.”– Erin Woody
Knowing that $25 a month can make such as significant difference in students’ lives was a “powerful motivator.” She says seeing programs first-hand assured her that her contribution would be used where it’s most needed. “I understood where those monthly contributions would be going. I’d be spending that amount on who-knows-what each month,” she chuckled. “But I thought, of course I’d do that. It’s minimal, you know?”
“Global Volunteers was my first experience with a volunteer vacation. It was such a unique idea to me, because a lot of my friends think that your choices are the Peace Corps on one side, and spending a few hours on a Saturday on the other.”
“But, you were quite flexible and open, allowing me to come help so that my service has been utilized and valued. So, every year, I know my big trip will be with Global Volunteers because I’ve been able to confidently say, ‘Hey, I’m going to go and do something that’s great. What do you need from me? I’ll show up and be ready.”
“Hey, I’m going to go and do something that’s great. What do you need from me? I’ll show up and be ready.”– Erin Woody
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