This year, globalHMA is interrupting our individual birthday celebrations to spend time volunteering during our birthday month. We encourage each person to select a cause that matters to them, give back and share their volunteer experience.

The gift of giving comes in many forms. At globalHMA, we aspire to help those in need. Giving back is a part of our daily lives. This notion doesn’t just pertain to our clients. It’s about helping the surrounding communities and the local citizens to make our areas a better place to live and work.

One way we are able to give back to our communities is though community service and volunteer activities. Almost every month, one or more employees at our agency takes the day off to take part in a meaningful volunteer opportunity or an activity. This includes activities like painting, yard work, assisting the elderly, mentoring and professional speaking.

I recently volunteered at Clare House, a non-profit organization providing food and shelter to homeless women and children in Lancaster. The organization offers a variety of volunteer opportunities, including Adopt A Room, Smell the Roses, Clare House Kids Club and Make a Meal. Individuals can also give monetary donations, food, clothes, linens, non-perishables, etc.

Throughout the duration a mother and child spends at Clare House, the organization teaches mothers how to become strong, independent women and how to raise children within their means. Everyone who resides at Clare House must gain employment, if they are not already working. The children need to attend school, if they are of age. To help families manage their finances, Clare House works with a local bank to help them create a bank account to start saving money and build up credit. The goal is to simulate real life experiences and teach the families responsibilities.

When I first approached Clare House, I opted to participate in their “Adopt a Room” program within one of their two homes. When a mother and child are able to move forward and begin a life outside of Clare House, it’s ideal to leave the room looking like new when the next family arrives. The program entails a bit of painting and some decorating to give it that fresh new feel, but it’s well worth the effort.

It was such an exhilarating experience to help a mother and child in need; two people who need a bed to sleep on, a pillow to comfort them and a much-needed room to come home to. So many of us take what we have for granted when there are others out there who have very little or nothing at all. I’m glad I was able to help provide a few of those things to make their environment more comfortable, but most importantly, safe.