At Habitat for Humanity of Chester County, we rely on volunteer help to achieve our mission. Like many other non-profit organizations, volunteers play key roles across the scope of our entire operation. Whether serving on our board or working at the construction site, our volunteers are contributing immense value to our mission and providing support to our community members.
The Value of Volunteering
The value of volunteering is innumerable. Being a part of a cause greater than yourself is an opportunity to expand your horizons past your daily interactions, form meaningful connections with the world around you, and find a deeper understanding of your community members' struggles. The benefits of volunteering manifest in communal and personal growth.
Volunteering builds a greater sense of connection and identity for a community as a whole. Annually, more than 500,000 Habitat volunteers help build, advocate and raise awareness about the global need for shelter. Our volunteers work in Habitat offices, participate in Habitat builds, serve in Habitat ReStores, and advocate for policies to advance affordable housing in our communities.
Although many volunteers are motivated by a sense of altruism, personal benefits also accrue through volunteering. Volunteering is associated with personal growth, purpose in life, and overall satisfaction. Research has shown that volunteering is associated with improved health, including increased longevity, adoption of healthy lifestyles, and reduced levels of depression and stress.
Volunteering advances the growth of essential leadership skills and traits, such as communication and management. By acquiring these traits, skilled volunteering experience can even foster career advancement. 80% of hiring managers agree that active volunteers advance into leadership roles more easily. The value of volunteering is felt on a community level and a personal level.
Anne-Marie Walters and Phil Conard of Bentley Systems
Wonderful changes are taking place in Chester County, and Habitat volunteers have been at the forefront in helping to improve neighborhoods. It is not only the construction laborers who are responsible for this but also the board and committee members who work behind the scenes to bring the pieces of the puzzle together. Habitat is truly blessed to have a dedicated group of volunteers who serve up to six years on our board, shaping the organization and transforming lives through strategic planning and financial oversight.
Habitat’s relationship with Bentley Systems over the past two decades has not only borne fruit through their generous financial support but also with their very talented employees – Anne-Marie Walters and Phil Conard – who sat on our Board at different times. Anne-Marie’s Board service ran from 2011 to 2017, during which she was president for two of those years, and she now continues to volunteer on-site, in the ReStores, and at the committee level. Phil’s six-year stint started in 2017 and will come to a close at the end of June 2023, having co-chaired the Family Services Committee for that entire period with the responsibility of selecting and vetting homeowner applications. We are very grateful for the time, talent, and treasure Anne-Marie and Phil have devoted to building houses, hope, and dignity!
Oscar Wilde said the smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention. Phil and Anne-Marie, your acts have been anything but small, and all of us at Habitat for Humanity of Chester County want to say thank you.
Are you interested in learning more about volunteering in your free time? View our Value of Volunteering report for more information about the benefits of volunteering, and learn more about getting involved with Habitat for Humanity of Chester County or our Chester County ReStores.