Monarch Contributes $465,000 in Service Hours
Last August, Hurricane Irene swept fiercely through the eastern United States. The path the storm blazed resulted in millions of dollars of damage, thousands of people without power, hundreds of homes destroyed and abandoned, and sadly, claimed 45 lives.
The vast devastation left by the tropical storm in eastern North Carolina prompted Monarch’s Beach Club of Dare County to help their coastal neighbors in need. Immediately following the storm, Beach Club members contacted local agencies and found ways to support their communities. They delivered 36 meals daily and numerous cases of water to individuals and families impacted by the storm.
Beach Club members were among hundreds of people with disabilities, Monarch supports, who positively impacted numerous individuals and helped to strengthen communities statewide through volunteerism. During 2011, the people supported gave their talent, energy and time – exactly 24,757 hours of their time, which had an economic impact of $465,431.60, according to the Independent Sector, a national organization that estimates value of volunteer time for North Carolina at $18.80 per service hour.
National Volunteer Week is observed April 15-21, 2012, but Monarch people and staff regularly identify ways to give back to the communities and to recognize its volunteers all year long.
“I am proud that volunteerism has consistently been part of Monarch’s rich legacy,” said Dr. Peggy Terhune, Monarch chief executive officer. “It is proven that many people gain self worth from helping others. Because we owe a great deal of our success to individuals, partner agencies, businesses and communities where the people with disabilities that we support live and work, it is especially important for people who are given to, to pour back into the communities where they have received support. We are excited to give back in these very meaningful ways.”
Other Monarch volunteer efforts included a blood drive where people supported by Monarch gave blood – and the project exceeded its set goal. Others planted seedlings at public state parks, cleaned roadways through the Adopt-A-Highway program, collected and served food for the homeless in soup kitchens, worked with master gardeners to beautify neighborhoods and senior centers and bought toys for Partnership for Kids and more. These projects occurred in more than half of the 55 North Carolina counties where Monarch programs are offered.
“These tremendous volunteer initiatives make meaningful connections in the lives of the people we assist while performing volunteer activities,” explained Eileen Bress, Monarch’s community coordinator who also organizes Monarch’s Community Life Improvement Committee (CLIC), a group that encourages Monarch staff and people supported to become involved in their communities. “We consistently hear that some programs would suffer or people would not be able to survive, had our people not helped. This is especially tremendous for the people we support, because these projects help them to engage with their neighbors and others, building self esteem while recognizing and celebrating individuality.”
Established in 1974, National Volunteer Week has grown exponentially in scope each year since, drawing the support and endorsement of all subsequent U.S. presidents, governors, mayors and other respected elected officials. National Volunteer Week is about inspiring, recognizing and encouraging people to seek imaginative ways to engage in their communities, to meet challenges and needs in their communities, according to the National HandsOn Network.
Monarch is nationally accredited by The Council on Quality and Leadership and is CABHA certified. An affiliate chapter of The Arc of North Carolina and The Arc of the United States, Monarch provides support statewide to thousands of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental illness and substance abuse challenges. To learn more about how Monarch is “Helping Dreams Take Flight” for people living in our communities, please call (800) 230-7525.