As seen in the Wausau Daily Herald, 03/27/2012
Name: Brenda Arndt
Family: Husband Ed, Son Lawrence, Daughter Natalie
Years as a volunteer: 6 months
Favorite Volunteer Activities: Community Center of Hope food panrty and thrift store
Tell about a volunteer experience: For me the volunteer experience isn't just about one moment. It's a matter of making a difference in the lives of someone other than me. I started volunteering to get my mind off of my own worries. Often I would find myself depressed, resentful, and not very pleasant to be around. I needed to feel useful and proud of the person I know I am, but have forgotten to be.
I decided to get busy helping others, instead of worrying about my own situation. I committed to working one evening a week. It started as a 'Mom's night out' and turned into a learning experience for my children as well. They wanted to know where I was going each week and if they could go along too. After explaining the purpose of the food pantry and why there is a need, they wanted to help. Now they come with me to join in the experience. They break down boxes, stock shelves, or take out the garbage. They have even made some new friends.
I've learned most, that everyone has problems, and sometimes all we need is a little helping hand to get us through the rough patches of life. Volunteering gives me the gift of purpose. No matter the age, there is always something to do, and there are plenty of ways to feel as though you've made a difference.
United Way Volunteer Connection-RSVP can help you find volunteer opportunities that match your interests and availability. Log on to www.unitedwaymc.org and click on Volunteer, or contact United Way's 2-1-1.