Volunteers make a world of difference!
The talents, skills, time and energy donated by our volunteers are a valued resource.
Each year, more than 1,200 dedicated volunteers help the Center serve the LGBTQIA+ and HIV communities in North Texas. Many individuals donate their time by working in the Center’s Health Campus serving up hot meals and stocking the food pantry for the HIV nutrition program.
This week we spoke with Dennis Wilson, a regular volunteer at our Health Campus. Here’s what he had to say about his reason for volunteering at Resource Center.
Why made you decide to volunteer with the Center?
“When I moved to Dallas 11 years ago, I realized I needed to find something to do to occupy some of my free time. I did an online search of various volunteer organizations and read about Resource Center and their mission of serving the HIV/AIDS community. It sounded interesting so I decided I would give it a try. After attending an informational meeting and learning about the wide variety of volunteer opportunities at the Center, I chose the Hot Meals/Food Pantry. I’ve been volunteering twice a week for 11 years.”
Dennis, what is your reason for volunteering during the pandemic?
“So many motivational reasons! First on that list would be that it provides me the opportunity to get out of my house and be involved with a great organization! I’m surrounded by wonderful and incredibly unique, talented individuals. It always feels like I get far more out of my volunteering than I put in…I often joke that I should pay the Center to allow me to volunteer, that’s how much I enjoy my time there. And I always leave with the feeling that I’ve contributed and hopefully made a difference. It’s been a very fulfilling experience for me and during my rather long lifetime I’ve had a wide variety of volunteer experiences…Resource Center has unquestionably, far and away, been the most enjoyable and rewarding!
As to ‘why’ during the pandemic, ‘yes’ everything has changed. However, the Center’s mission is still being fulfilled: we are still serving the community. I’ve been impressed by all the safety precautions the Center has taken to assure the ongoing safety of staff, volunteers and clients. Most importantly, we’re still providing important services for our clients.”
What advice would you give to someone who is interested in volunteering?
“Simple, give it a try! Come in with the recognition that you’re going to work hard, but also realize you’re a ‘volunteer’, not an employee! It’s a different mind set…you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, policies and procedures are in place and lots of great people available to assist. Just GIVE IT A TRY.”
The Center has volunteer opportunities for individuals, as well as community, corporate, church and school groups. “Our volunteer coordinator can work with you to organize a volunteer project that fits your group’s needs. Click below to donate your time to the Center and make a world of difference for the LGBTQIA+ and HIV/AIDS communities we serve!”