The Beacon: April 2024

The Beacon: April 2024

April showers… the saying goes. We are showered with blessings and truly grateful for the two SkillBridge interns who chose to spend their time with Talents ASCEND. Thank you to Tatiana and Rachelle.

April is also the month to recognize and appreciate volunteers. There are many organizations who couldn’t function without volunteers. We have the privilege of our Board members volunteering their time to guide us, strengthen our mission with their expertise and mentor me to grow the business. Thank you to Lou, EJ, Mike and Tom as well as all the others before them.

Volunteering benefits everyone. The organization doing great work and just can’t afford yet to hire employees. The people receiving the benefit of the work from these organizations who otherwise may not have food to eat, rides to doctor visits, or safe havens to feel protected. You, the volunteer benefits by connecting, making a difference and learning new skills that you take with you forever. Don’t forget to note those skills in your career search and accomplishments. 

Our communities are stronger because of volunteers. I’ve had the opportunity to volunteer throughout my life and each experience has been life changing. As a teenager, I helped tutor a severely disabled child and watching him react was heartwarming. In the Navy, I volunteered for the American Red Cross in a time out daycare. Parents could bring their kids for free to give themselves a time out. To this day, I still remember the smiles that we were able to bring out in those kids. You could see the difference in them as soon as they walked in the door. I’ve been a grocery shopper volunteer for people homebound with MS, a mentor for Veterans Treatment Court and many other worthy causes. Priceless experiences to say the least.

Volunteering: A Pathway to Personal Growth​

By Nila Thompson

In a world brimming with challenges, volunteering stands as a beacon of hope, offering profound benefits not only to the communities served but also to the individuals who step forward to lend a hand. Whether it’s dedicating time to our military / veteran community, supporting the underprivileged, or contributing to causes that resonate with an individual, volunteering fosters a culture of empathy, connection, and personal growth. ​

When you volunteer, it can give you a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Individuals tend to contribute meaningfully to causes they are passionate about. Engaging in volunteer work often leads to a deeper understanding of one’s values and the issues that matter most to them. Numerous studies have shown that volunteering is associated with improved mental and physical well-being. The act of giving back can reduce stress, boost self-esteem, and instill a sense of gratitude, leading to a more balanced and fulfilling life.​

Perhaps the most profound benefit of volunteering is the positive impact it has on communities. Whether it’s cleaning up local parks, beautifying schools, tutoring youth, or aiding the elderly, volunteers play a vital role in addressing societal challenges and building stronger, more resilient communities. It brings people together from diverse backgrounds and experiences, fostering valuable connections and expanding social networks. These connections can open doors to new opportunities, both personally and professionally, and provide a support system built on shared values.​

Giving of your time offers a unique platform for acquiring new skills and honing existing ones. From leadership and communication to problem-solving and project management, volunteers can learn a range of competencies in a real-world setting. The development of these skills can assist with individual’s career goals and make them more viable candidates for employers. ​

Volunteering is a transformative journey that not only benefits others but also enriches the lives of those who choose to give their time and energy. As we navigate an increasingly complex world, let us embrace the power of volunteering as a catalyst for positive change, both within ourselves and in the world around us. Join the movement today and experience the joy of making a difference!​

Join host Shawn Welsh, co-host Keith Cassant, and guest Nila Thompson discuss the military family, their challenges, and the work that Talents ASCEND and The ASCEND Collective are doing in their community. 

Nila is the Chief of Staff for Talents ASCEND. She is a Veteran spouse, former Civilian Family Readiness Officer for the Marine Corps and ultimate connector of people. Nila has over fifteen years of military and veteran family advocacy expertise; which includes her time aboard Camp Pendleton as a FRO, VFW Headquarters Unmet Needs Coordinator, and numerous other nonprofits, all advocating for our military veterans, spouses and families. 

Listen Here​

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