In communities across the US, the outpouring of compassion and volunteerism in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, is a phenomenon of grand proportion. September 11 is now a signature day for dedicating time to helping others through charitable service, volunteerism and good deeds.
Volunteerism is Up!
In our community, some mark the anniversary of the September 11 attacks by going to a memorial service or observing a moment of silence.
Others find great satisfaction in developing constructive ways to help local neighbors in need. In fact, the number of Americans who volunteer has risen steadily since 9/11. Today, 63 million Americans donate their time, averaging 34.2 hours a year, and providing $169 billion worth of services annually, free of charge.
According to the Reader’s Digest, aging Americans’ second acts will increase those numbers even more. “Seventy-six million people will be looking for an ‘encore career’ soon, and engaging them in highly skilled opportunities will be crucial,” says Heather Peeler, chief strategy officer at the Corporation for National and Community Service. “We’re already seeing nonprofits gearing up to accommodate baby boomers.”
At Bluffton Self Help, we see how much it means to our volunteers and supporters to give back to the community through good deeds. According to Lili Coleman, Executive Director at BSH, “In fact, our goal is to empower volunteers and supporters to design any positive program they wish, as long as it aligns to our mission… to provide free food, clothing and emergency financial support to the working poor. Since we do such a small amount of fundraising directly, we continually look for ways to partner with external groups and organizations who want to develop and sponsor programs on behalf of Bluffton Self Help. We call this empowered volunteerism, and it is exciting to witness.”
- Neighborhood food or diaper drives throughout the year
- School supply drives in the summer
- Coat, quilt and blanket collections and toy drives during cold weather
- Easter baskets for children and baby baskets for newborns.
“These are our core programs, and because the demand consistently outpaces our resources, they are always needed and appreciated,” says Coleman.
All are giving back to our community in an effort to share a common bond around volunteerism and support for neighbors in need. Below are just a few of the current events hosted by community partners:
Palmetto Bluff Summer Concert Series
During the summer months, Palmetto Bluff organizers host the outdoor Summer Concert Series, and proceeds from those events support Bluffton Self Help. This year, the enthusiasm of concert-goers was contagious, and the performances by Cranford & Sons, the Earl Williams Band, and Shrimp City Slim got everyone on their feet and helped Palmetto Bluff raise more than $6,000 for Bluffton Self Help. Thank you, Palmetto Bluff!
The Tiger Bass 5K/12K
For six years, Hampton Lake has been home to the Tiger Bass 5K/12K Race and 1 Mile Fun/Run Walk, and proceeds benefit Bluffton Self Help. The races attract the serious competitive racer and the occasional runner/walker. Proceeds from the event raise money for Bluffton Self Help’s operations and programs. This year the race will step off at 8:00am Saturday, September 21st. Information about this event, including registration, is available on their website.
In anticipation of another great event, we thank the organizers, sponsors and supporters of the Tiger Bass event. May the best runners win!
Zonta Club of Bluffton Clothing Drive
In this inaugural event, slated for Saturday, October 12th, the Zonta Club of Bluffton will host a clothing drive, specifically targeted for women in the workplace. The drive will conclude with a workshop that will help working women polish their image and presentation skills. Workshop topics will include interviewing, dressing for success, resume preparation, and creating best impressions. The donated clothing will be displayed at Bluffton Self Help prior to the event. To volunteer or participate in this event, please contact Lili Coleman at Bluffton Self Help.
We thank the Zonta Club of Bluffton, in advance, for developing an original program that fosters self-confidence and professionalism in our clients.
All good deeds through positive action! To learn more about ways you can find your encore career at Bluffton Self Help, give us a call!