With busy lives, it can be hard to find time to volunteer. However, the benefits of volunteering are enormous to you, your family, and your community. Pam Wakefield has made her commitment to volunteerism a priority in her busy life.
Pam started volunteering with the Children's Foundation in October 2016. She originally took on the role of Office Volunteer, helping with general clerical and administrative duties. As the Foundation continues to grow, and the demand for the Free To Play Program also continues to increase, Pam has moved into the role of Free to Play Support Volunteer. Her sole focus now is supporting the administration of Free to Play funding. Pam works closely with Maria Fitzpatrick, Free To Play Program Assistant, to ensure funding is administered in an efficient and timely manner. “We can have up to 90 Free to Play applications in a week, and so it can be pretty busy at times,” says Maria. “Having someone like Pam to rely on is a huge help in staying on top of everything so that families get the help they need quickly. Not only does Pam offer fantastic organization skills, but she’s such a warm and friendly person that it’s a joy to have her on our team.”
Pam loves volunteering for the Children’s Foundation because it makes her feel important and happy. Researchers have discovered by measuring hormones and brain activity, that being helpful to others delivers immense pleasure. Human beings are hard-wired to give to others. The more we give, the happier we feel. Pam also loves the variety in her work and the feeling of ownership as she has become an essential part of the team. She feels a renewed sense of self-worth, meaning, and social engagement. These things are extremely valuable to Pam, especially as she isn't currently working outside the home.
In addition to her role as the Free to Play Support Volunteer, Pam took on the role of Donor Greeter with the Adopt-A-Family team this past holiday season. Pam is passionate about this program as she and her husband have been involved as donors for a number of years. In fact, Pam’s whole family joins in the volunteer effort with Adopt-A-Family by helping with the move on-site and with gift-wrapping. “Pam was such a great addition to the Adopt-A-Family team, greeting donors when they dropped off their gifts," says Karyn Kirkwood, Program Director. “She exemplifies the true spirit of Christmas, spreading cheer and goodwill wherever she goes.”
Pam is also involved with Women in Crisis where she crochets blankets and donates them to women in need. Pam relies on a boot camp exercise class for the energy needed to do all that she does to support her family and her community, not to mention the numerous half marathons she competes in.
Pam recently shared her thoughts on volunteering with us saying, "You don't have to have a lot of time to make a difference; every little bit of work counts. Volunteering is just one way for you to shine.”
Doing good for others and the community provides a natural sense of accomplishment. Your role as a volunteer can give you a sense of pride and identity. And the better you feel about yourself, the more likely you are to have a positive view of your life and the lives of others.