Altruism, why do Hancock Hope House volunteers serve?

Altruism- “is the principle or practice of concern for the welfare of others; an individual performing an action which is at a cost to themselves (e.g., in quality of life, time, or pleasure), but benefits, either directly or indirectly, another third-party individual, without the expectation of reciprocity or compensation for that action.”

Why do people volunteer their time?  Why do people give away their hard earned resources? Why do people help others who are in need? The answer to all of these questions is different for each person you ask. As I prepare to meet the many volunteers of the Hancock Hope House tonight for our annual Thanksgiving Volunteer Appreciation dinner, I have tried to understand why our volunteers as a group spend thousands of hours per year dedicating their time, energy, resources and talents to our organization.

Our volunteers come in everyday of the week to assist us with our Thrift Store the WEARHOUSE (all the proceeds from the WEARHOUSE go directly to the homeless shelter). Some volunteers help bring in items donated to us from the community, others might sort and price those items, while some volunteers repair donated items that need some TLC before we can sell them. Finally, some volunteers cover the cash register and greet all their regular customers that come in to see what great deals we have. Many of our great volunteers have been volunteering their time for over 10 years without fail. Have you ever heard the saying, “It takes a village”?, well, the saying is true! The Hancock Hope House volunteers are a village of altruistic, generous people who donate, time, money, energy and talent to keep the Hancock Hope House operating so we can continue to serve the homeless.

I am thankful for the many volunteers that make up the Hancock Hope House, if you would like to surround yourself with kind, giving, selfless individuals, the Hancock Hope House might be the place for you to spend  your spare time.


As the temperature falls, some are left out in the cold



Imagine not having a place to call “home” and all the amenities that many of us take for granted, like a roof over your head, heat, food, and running water, the basics to many people are just a dream to those without a home. Unfortunately, there are many individuals in our community that do not have a home and all those amenities that come with it. As a society, it is imperative that we not turn our backs on those people who are experiencing hard times.

Empathy is imperative in life! What if I was homeless? Where would I go? What would I do? Who would help me? When we employ empathy into our mindset, it helps us try to understand what others are going through in their life. When we are empathetic, we can mentally “walk a mile in another persons shoes”.

Only a fraction of the homeless population choose to be homeless. The majority of human beings that are homeless have experienced a myriad of things happening in their lives in a short period of time. For example, the lose of a job, family member, or health issues can create a hopeless situation in their lives that leaves them with no place to go, literally!

At the Hancock Hope House homeless shelter, we offer HOPE to people who need help and need a warm safe place to lay their head when the weather turns brutally cold. At the Hancock Hope House, we offer food to nourish their bodies. At the Hancock Hope House, we offer encouragement to individuals who need help, we help them get back on their feet.

If you do not have a good imagination and can’t fathom not having a place to call “home”, I encourage you to visit the Hancock Hope House or another homeless shelter in your community. Volunteer at a soup kitchen feeding people you don’t even know or at a food pantry. I invite you to volunteer at our thrift store the WEARHOUSE, where all donated items are sold to support the Hancock Hope House. Put your imagination into action and help others!