Volunteer Spotlight- Sharlene

Sharlene Peterson has been volunteering with Community Connect since 2019. Community Connect is a program that provides safety and connection to Senior’s in our community through regularly schedule phone calls and social interactions.

Sharlene also currently volunteers at schools reading to young people who need help developing their reading and English skills. “Volunteering gives you a good feeling,” she says. “If you’re having a poor day, you can just make someone’s day better,” and that helps her feel better in kind.

Giving back her community and others is important to Sharlene, and she challenges herself when working with someone who is having a difficult time, to help that person have a better day and feel more positive. It’s a win-win situation. “There is so much in the world that doesn’t make one feel good, but one always feels good when they help someone.”

Another important aspect of volunteering is that it has a way of humanizing those who she might have otherwise overlooked. It allows her to connect and associate with those she may not have while developing compassion for others in more difficult or unfortunate situations. Volunteering has shown Sharlene that you don’t need a lot of common ground to build a relationship, just an invested interest in getting to know the other person.

Sharlene was inspired to give back by her mother who gave a lot of time to her neighbors and the people around her by baking
for them and helping in her community. Her mother was always able to see the positive side of things, something she passed on to Sharlene and which serves her well in her volunteering with LSCO.

She says if someone wants to volunteer, they have nothing to lose and a lot to gain by doing so. People often underestimate the difference they can make in someone’s life and the community in general, so she encourages everyone to give it a try.