Since Lifelong was founded, volunteers have been an integral part of our community. Not only do staff members rely on them, but so do our clients.
With a staff of about 130 and an active volunteer pool of about 1,900, our volunteers are crucial in supporting us to have a bigger reach in the community. “Staff can only do so much because of bandwidth and volunteers really help to extend that arm for Lifelong to have the ability to serve more clients, and also serve them in a higher quality to better meet their needs,” explains Tara Jacobsen, Volunteer Coordinator. In fact, 63% of Lifelong employees work directly with volunteers and 78% of volunteers serve in our client-service programs.
Volunteers who work with clients are often a check-point for a client’s wellbeing and the majority of these volunteers have built deep relationships with clients. It’s because of these experiences that our volunteers continue to devote their time and energy to Lifelong.
Even the volunteers that don’t interact with clients have continued to volunteer because of the experiences we offer at Lifelong.
“We are able to offer volunteer opportunities that align with what someone is looking for from their volunteer experience– there is direct service, indirect service, a variety of locations, and a range of programs that help very different types of individuals,” Tara explains.
Through a program that offers such diverse volunteer opportunities, the passion and dedication of each volunteer is directly woven into the Lifelong mission.
Hear from our volunteers about why they give their time at Lifelong:
“I feel like I’ve been invited to see and learn about the organization from the inside out. As a result, I can be a better advocate for the organization and in assisting clients and customers. These experiences have been possible because the Lifelong staff has encouraged and supported me in trying new endeavors. Lifelong really knows how to work with volunteers to provide a meaningful volunteer experience.” – Mary Kay, current DEVO Admin Volunteer and former CSB Volunteer
“I’ve had so many meaningful experiences while volunteering at Lifelong that it’s hard to name just one. One of my favorite parts of the week is getting to see my clients that I deliver groceries to. I have a unique relationship with every single one of them and I wouldn’t change a thing. I first started volunteering with Lifelong back in 2000 and I continue to do so because I believe in their mission and values. Every person deserves love and a warm meal and I’ll continue to share my time and heart as long as I possibly can.” – Tiffany, Volunteer Delivery Driver
“I volunteer at Lifelong’s Chicken Soup Brigade (CSB) because while I love preparing food, I also truly believe that food is medicine. From chopping vegetables to carefully packaging meals for clients, I’m happy knowing that someone in the community will hopefully feel better because of the love and care that our group prepared their meal with. The staff at the CSB Kitchen is always warm and welcoming, and their knowledge of cooking and food prep inspires me when I’m making food in my own kitchen!” – Kim, CSB Kitchen Volunteer
“I’ve been volunteering now for 13+ years and it is a part of my life – it has broadened my experience of the world.” – Julie, Volunteer Delivery Driver
“I had known about CSB for 30+ years as they had helped family friends decades ago (near when CSB first started out) and I loved the idea of giving back. Having had fun volunteering in the CSB Kitchen, and getting along with the staff there, it made perfect sense for CSB to become the main agency I devoted my volunteer hours to.” – Ethan, Meal Bagging Volunteer
“I volunteer for the people – I have formed great relationships with all of the clients and I enjoy seeing them each week. They are the people who bring me back.” – Jenn, Volunteer Delivery Driver
“I volunteer at Lifelong because throughout my life I have received a lot of help from other people and many of them were volunteers themselves. I just wanted to give back and be more involved in my community. My involvement at Lifelong has allowed me the opportunity to do both. I am very grateful – thanks Lifelong!” – Paige, Education and Prevention Volunteer in Bellingham
“I volunteer because we all need to do something for those who need help.” – Rick, Volunteer Delivery Driver