Volunteers make a difference

Contributed by Beth Bauer

Volunteers make a difference in someone else’s life and in their own life!
By the numbers, 62.8 million Americans volunteered in 2015 spending 7.8 billion hours volunteering.  The estimated value of those hours is $184 billion according to the Corporation for National and Community Service.  
Volunteers come in all ages and from all walks of life in Adams County.  Teens, college students, employed adults and retirees all have a place in volunteer services.  Why do they volunteer?  There are a myriad of reasons, but the most often response is, “To make a difference.”  Aside from helping others, volunteers gain also.
Teens volunteer to learn about potential careers and to learn responsibility.  Students often volunteer to gain experience in a particular field.  Working adults volunteer to broaden their outlook and to de-stress.  Retirees volunteer to stay active, to share life experiences and knowledge.  
How do you get started?  One simple way is to google volunteer in Adams County, PA.  Right in Gettysburg there are three outstanding opportunities.   
The Gettysburg Hospital has a very active volunteer staff.  You can learn about it at: www.wellspan.org/about-wellspan/volunteer-services.  It’s easy to apply and training is offered to help you feel comfortable and secure in your role at the hospital.
Volunteer to be a tutor for adult literacy at the Lincoln Intermediate Unit on Baltimore Pike just outside Lake Heritage.  You do not need a teaching background.  There is initial training and also regular in-service training.  The website is: http://www.iu12.org/pages/Lincoln_IU_12/Services/Adult_Education/Literacy/Prospective_Volunteers
Help someone get his / her GED or learn English for a job or to just pass a driver’s license test. Know what real success feels like!
One volunteer opportunity that is unique to the Gettysburg area is being a volunteer at the Gettysburg Museum and Visitors Center.  You can serve at the Center and also at various locations around town.  Greet and interact with some on the interesting people, families and students who visit our town! Check out the opportunities at: http://www.friendsofgettysburg.org/Volunteers.aspx.
It is easy to get started; you just have to put yourself out there with the plan to help someone and to make a difference.  The rewards are tremendous for others and yourself!