How to Grow by Helping Others Grow

by Ellie Lang

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Did you know April is Volunteer Appreciation Month? Although I might be a bit biased, I would argue that we have the most dedicated and passionate volunteers at Edible Education Experience than any other organization! We would not be able to touch the number of lives that we do without the hard work and support of our volunteers.

In just these past four months, our volunteers have already served over 200 hours! Thank you for your passion, love, and dedication to our programs.

Here is what some of our volunteers have said about their experience with Edible Education Experience:

“The orderliness, the cleanliness, the whole set-up of the Kitchen House is quite impressive. The garden is always kept beautiful. I imagine the whole place as a little replica of Eden on earth! I have observed that most of the kids were very much involved and excited to learn.”

“I love working with kids, being outside, and feeling like I have a purpose.”

“I have a love for the outdoors. My life has been spent in the garden with family and I appreciate the process. The culinary garden here at Edible Education Experience allows me to keep those memories alive. I enjoy working alongside the folks at Edible Education Experience and truly miss it when I can't be here.”

“Edible Education Experience offers me a positive opportunity and experience like no other. Realizing changes are a necessary part to better outcomes, Edible Education Experience is always on top of this process. I wouldn't change a thing!”

Just  some  of our Edible Education Experience volunteers at our April 2019 Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon prepared by Chef Allyson!

Just some of our Edible Education Experience volunteers at our April 2019 Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon prepared by Chef Allyson!

Thinking about giving your time to a nonprofit? Here are five reasons why you should volunteer more often:

  1. Volunteering makes you all-around happier. You know that amazing feeling you get after finishing an intense workout? That feeling comes from a release of “happy hormones” also known as endorphins. Researchers have found that helping others can have that exact same effect on your brain — so the more you volunteer, the happier you become!

  2. Volunteering establishes strong, long-lasting relationships. Meeting new people who have similar interests can’t help but be the perfect catalyst for a new, long-lasting relationship. When you are working side-by-side with others (such as if you join us for our Sunday community gardening), you bond with others while working together to meet a common goal.

  3. Volunteering is great for your career. We have already established that volunteering is a great opportunity to meet new people and make connections in the field you are interested in. Although you might not be volunteering to advance your career, volunteering gives you the opportunity to practice important skills used both personally and professionally. For example, through volunteering, you hone skills such as time management, teamwork, communication, problem solving, and organization.

  4. Volunteering can give you a sense of purpose. Whatever your age or life situation, volunteering can help take your mind off your own problems, keep your mind sharp, and add more spice to your life. Maybe you are new to a community and want to be connected, or your kids just moved away to college, or you just retired and are looking for ways to contribute your time. Volunteering will give you that sense of purpose you’ve been longing for.

To learn more about how you can get involved with our hands-on gardening and cooking activities, please check out our programs and events pages on our website.

Author’s bio: Ellie Lang is the Volunteer Manager and Internship Coordinator at Edible Education Experience. She is also a full-time Wellness Consultant at AdventHealth and a personal trainer. She started with Edible Education Experience when she was a sophomore in college at Oregon State University and knew upon graduation this is where she wanted to be. By the grace of God, she ended up being the first intern at EEE in 2017! In her spare time, Ellie enjoys playing with her two dogs, Duke and Bruce, spending time with friends and family, and going to the beach.