You may be asking yourself why an item on volunteering is appearing under “What’s New” on our home page. After all, volunteering has been the sine qua non of 40Plus of Greater Washington since its founding in 1953. It is the center of everything we do.
We always have new volunteers stepping up to help in many ways and for many reasons. For most, we think it is because they both enjoy it and it makes them feel good. 40Plus volunteers have a special opportunity to touch the lives of an underserved group of people, many of whom arrive at 40Plus after a very frustrating time and with severely shaken self-confidence. The feedback that we get, suggests that our unique intensive program profoundly affects many of these people. So, while volunteering itself is not new, new volunteers bring fresh energy, ideas, and perspective to the mission.
But the real reason for this item under “What’s New”, is that we sometimes get new feedback that we weren’t expecting, and it touches us back in a profound way. In connection with our Annual Meeting and Celebration dinner, we received a very large donation from a graduate of the program a number of years ago. It was our very first donation in connection with this event. The donor took the time to include the following note:
I'm retired now, but when I was laid off around age 45, I was a lost soul until a friend told me about 40+. There, in a basement office…I found friends, support, and a framework from which I was able to venture out into the job market and reestablish myself as a person of worth and merit. I will never forget the blessings I received by being associated with 40+. I can't attend the "40+ Reignited" affair, but would like to help two members who might have trouble with tickets (and their guests) to attend. G-d bless you all!
For the “feel good” part of volunteering, it doesn’t get any better than this.