A Volunteer’s Viewpoint

May 20, 2020

This feedback comes from a Joy’s House volunteer, Paul. Serving our Joy’s House community is made possible through the work and the compassion of our volunteers. While our on-site volunteer program is temporarily suspended in light of the Coronavirus, you can still get involved by becoming a Volunteer Advocate in support of Family Caregivers through The Hau’oli Project.

“Volunteering at Joy’s House has been a wonderful opportunity to serve the community. Through this experience I have had a chance to serve the elderly and the disabled, their caregivers, as well as staff members at Joy’s House. I was privileged to work with the adult guests in a variety of capacities on both a group and individual level. As a group this included reading books, playing games, serving meals, and leading morning stretching and calisthenics. On a more person to person basis this included assisting guests [to] move about, helping feed those physically unable to, and seeking out those [who were] by themselves and engaging them in conversation or getting them involved in an activity such as Bingo.

While I was there assisting the guests, they were blessing me. The smiles and thank yous I received for the smallest task warmed my heart. To also be surrounded by people suffering from physical and/or mental ailments many of whom displayed such joyous spirits was uplifting to experience.

The highlight of my time at Joy’s House was when a nonverbal guest I had been assisting looked at me and spoke three words. To witness this individual’s accomplishment is beyond words. My time at Joy’s House has continued to show me the diverse ways one can serve as well as the helpfulness and importance of even the simplest tasks.

A good portion of my time was spent in behind the scenes work. I spent half a day organizing and moving storage items and running diagnostics on an assortment of office electronics, fixing those salvageable. I learned having some IT background can be very beneficial as I was able to troubleshoot issues none of the staff knew how to do and make suggestions of how to best utilize some of their equipment. During one task of inventorying the week’s donations against the facility’s needs, I better understood how much some nonprofit organizations rely on donations to operate.

I also worked in the office, organizing and filing mail, donation receipts, tax return documents, etc. Several staff expressed their appreciation multiple times. This further ingrained in me the effect assisting with such a seemingly minute task can cause by allowing staff members to focus on more crucial responsibilities that keep the organization functioning. Volunteering at Joy’s House has not only been a blessing to me, but it has also been an experience that has continued to teach me about the structure and various needs of nonprofit organizations.”