Giving back: recognizing the impact of volunteers
Anthony Blount is one of the many people supported at Monarch who takes every opportunity he can to help others. Outside of his regular job, he dedicates at least 10 hours each week to volunteering around the community.
At Tryon Palace in New Bern, he shreds documents and helps with the museum’s performance events. He cleans the costumes and puts them away. On the second Thursday of each month, you’ll find Blount, who is deaf, at St. Peter’s Church helping organize donations after clothing drives. And if St. Steven’s Church looks extra tidy, that’s his work, too.
When the regular literacy volunteer at Pamlico County Public Library went on vacation, Blount happily stepped in.
“He stepped in without any staff prompting and showed the pictures of the story to the audience,” said April Judson, a community engagement team leader for Monarch. “The library has been great to us. They host tons of events for our day program such as card making and reading groups.”
Giving back is celebrated nationwide each year during National Volunteer Week, to recognize the people who contribute their talents and dedicate time to their communities because they care. This year, National Volunteer Week is April 23-29. The people supported at Monarch give back not just this week, but year-round and continue to have a major impact on their communities.
In 2016, the people we support contributed 26,546.75 volunteer hours to their communities statewide. This translates to a total economic impact of $580,842.89.
“More than 26,000 hours is proof that we are trying to help the people we support give back to the community and when we do that we naturally break down a barrier, and the community sees the people we support as givers rather than takers from society,” said Monarch’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jim Kelley.
Volunteering is one way Monarch helps enlighten our communities about seeing people with disabilities as people first. For many of the people we support, they gain new skills and create new relationships. Community Engagement Team Leaders like Judson, are always looking for new ways to make this happen.
“Volunteerism is an integral part of our day. An important part of the lives of the people we support is the community they live in and the connections they have made. Just like the importance for me to have meaningful work, it also is important to the people we support to learn new skills, practice the skills they have, as well as help people in the process and make a difference,” said Judson.