National Volunteer Week | Laura Johnson's Story
Volunteers bring breath and depth to our mission of helping communities achieve better health. Today we salute the volunteer efforts of Laura Johnson, an account management specialist on our sales administration team.
So Laura, why is volunteering important to you?
I think everyone should find a way to support their local communities and the causes that are important to them, whether through your child’s school, your church, a local non-profit, a friend or family member’s volunteer efforts or just your own individual projects. Volunteering brought me closer to my community and continues to put me in contact with wonderful individuals who are working hard to make our world a better place.
We love that you want to make our world a better place, how did you first get involved with volunteering?
I always jokingly answer this question with, “I’m just really easy to talk into things!” and it’s at least partially true. My longest-standing volunteer commitment began in the early 90’s when a college friend signed me up to volunteer at an event. Even though she did not ask me, I loved it and have continued to volunteer with the same organization on as a member of their Board of Directors and in 2017, I will have completed a 10-year term of service.
Laura, that is great news and is a big accomplishment. How do you manage your time between work, volunteering and other commitments?
It’s admittedly easier for me than it is for others, since I don’t have children or any other major obligations besides work. You do have to keep a close watch on your calendar, and it sometimes requires missing out on one event in order to fulfill other obligations. You just have to maintain that balance – and you sometimes have to bow out of things & take a weekend to REST.
What is one piece of advice you have about volunteering?
I have two pieces of advice, actually. One, you need to follow your passion when selecting volunteer opportunities. This includes finding a group of people with whom you will enjoy spending your spare time, finding a cause that speaks to your heart, and or finding a way to use your special talent or knowledge to help those around you. The key is to find meaning in what you’re doing.
Finally, for opportunities that fit YOUR schedule. Some opportunities require specific time commitments each week, while others may be participated with on an “as needed and as available” basis. Be clear about your availability when looking for volunteer opportunities, and you can probably find something that fits both your needs and the needs of the group with whom you’ll be volunteering.
Filed under: Community
Sharon is a daughter, sister, proud mother & well-loved wife. She calls herself a #socialmedia storyteller and definitely not a guru. She is a proud graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Follower her on twitter at @sharonlroy and @chefandbride.