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April 26, 2017

The value of volunteering

Opinion Volunteering

Content sponsored by IBC - Native (195x33)

This is National Volunteer Week – a time to celebrate volunteerism and the passionate people who dedicate their time and talents to serving others. And with volunteer rates in the United States declining over the past 10 years according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, inspiring others to give back is more important than ever.

Lorina Marshall-Blake

As a volunteer leader in the community, I know the impact that service can make. That is why I am proud to be part of the Independence Blue Cross Blue Crew, a dedicated group of people that devote their spare time to helping others. Busy schedules can make it hard to find a lot of time to give back, but just one hour can have an immeasurable impact on someone’s life! Every task – no matter how big or small – makes a difference. Serving lunch at a shelter or having a conversation with a patron at a senior center makes a true impact.

And giving back is contagious. Once you experience the joy of serving others, you’ll be motivated to continue. Volunteering together is a great way to strengthen the bonds of family and friendship. When you share your genuine passion and enthusiasm for volunteering, people will be inspired to follow your lead. The more people willing to lend a hand, the greater impact we can make.

Volunteering can also help you just as much as it helps others. It’s an opportunity to step outside your comfort zone and try new things, which has been incredibly helpful to me in my career. Volunteering on local nonprofit boards or for fundraising initiatives has strengthened my abilities as a leader and allowed me to develop my skills in so many ways.

Most importantly, volunteering connects you with people and families from diverse backgrounds and all walks of life. It reminds us that we are all part of the fabric of one community. Through volunteering, I am humbly reminded of the importance of coming together to help each other through the difficult and challenging times in life.

We are stronger together than we are alone, and by working together we can help make our communities a better place for us all.

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Lorina Marshall-Blake is vice president of community affairs for Independence Blue Cross.