Why Do We Volunteer? Why Does it Matter?

People have many different reasons why they volunteer – for some, it offers an opportunity to give back to the community by supporting a cause they feel most passionate about and the idea that however big or small the act is – you are making a difference to the people around you. Others volunteer because they are looking to develop new skills or build experience and knowledge. And yes, some are even “voluntold”.

For Board Member Carol Gentry, helping an organization like HeartLands Conservancy by giving her time is just as important as any financial contribution because volunteers are the lifeblood of any non-profit organization.

Carol recently received an award for her exceptional volunteer service this past year. Carol and her husband David have been a mainstay at HeartLands Conservancy’s events, volunteering to help with our Spring Plant Sale, assisting with Martinis in the Meadow, and even chairing the Field to Fork Planning Committee – leading to our most successful signature fundraiser to date.  Carol found working with Board Members and volunteers with varied skills educational and fun.  Carol found it extremely rewarding to know our combined hard work helped fund HeartLands Conservancy to do more good work in our communities.  

Carol finds working on small projects that interest her, oftentimes centered around being out in nature to be calming, it makes her happy to see a public garden shift through the seasons, and enjoys taking the time to notice the birds and butterflies. Helping support HeartLands Conservancy’s efforts to protect special places makes her feel engaged and enriches her life. Through volunteering, Carol has met and shared experiences with many interesting and wonderful people. It has also allowed her to learn about trees and ecosystems and community involvement–which she wouldn’t have been able to do while sitting at home.

Mary Vandevord, Carol Gentry, Mallory Ketcherside

Carol and David Gentry

Carol and David Gentry volunteer often and help organize and coordinate many events

Giving back to HeartLands Conservancy, in turn, gives back to our communities in southern Illinois.

HeartLands Conservancy has many ways to get involved.  Whether you’d like to get your hands dirty by volunteering outside, in the office to assist with administrative tasks, or at our special events – we would love for you to join us.

You can visit our volunteer page to help protect and restore lands in southern Illinois.

If you have any questions about volunteering with HeartLands Conservancy, contact our Stewardship Technician, Jack Aydt at jack.aydt@heartlandsconservancy.org or call (618) 566-4451 ex 17.