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.