A CastleBranch employee learns new skills during the company's annual WARM Week.
My New Year’s resolution is to learn a new skill outside the responsibilities of my job, something outdoors that requires physical activity.
I have not even decided what it will be yet, but fortunately I have 12 months to make it happen.
Each year, 41 percent of Americans make a New Year's resolution. For years, people have used the new year as an opportunity to make changes and improve their lives. Most resolutions fall into one of these categories: do good deeds; learn something new; or improve my health.
If you are having trouble getting started with your resolutions, I’m happy to tell you that WARM can help you not only improve yourself, but also make a difference in the life of someone in our community!
By volunteering with WARM, you can fulfill all three of the most common resolutions:
Do Good Deeds
This one is obvious. Volunteering on a WARM rebuild literally
changes a life. Your team may build a wheelchair ramp for a disabled veteran, repair dangerous floors for a young family, or install a grab bar for a frail elderly person. WARM’s mission helps low-income homeowners remain at home safely.
Your good deeds are rewarded by tangible and immediate results, a sense of accomplishment and, frequently, words of thanks like these from JoAnn: You are the answer to my prayers... I didn’t know I was worthy of this kind of help.
Learn Something New
All of WARM’s rebuilds are prepared and supervised by our professional construction crew, led by our Construction Manager, Tom Burns, who is a licensed general contractor.
Our crew is passionate about working with volunteers of all skill levels, from teenagers that have never picked up a hammer before to retired contractors. In addition to learning from WARM’s staff, volunteers learn from each other’s experiences.
Each volunteer or volunteer team is assigned tasks appropriate to their skill level, so the experience is challenging and rewarding. Bob Russell, who volunteers several days per week, told me: Because every home is built differently and has different repair needs, I always encounter something I’ve never seen before. I learn something every day.
Improve my Health
Volunteering improves mental, physical and spiritual health in very real ways.
According to research compiled by the Corporation for National and Community Service
, people who volunteer “are less likely to suffer from ill health later in life and may be introduced into a positive reinforcing cycle of good health and future volunteering.” And those with chronic or serious conditions “receive benefits beyond what can be achieved through medical care.”
Completing a WARM rebuild involves problem-solving and teamwork, creates a sense of community among the volunteers, and allows you the opportunity to do physical work for a great cause. Many of our volunteers find it especially meaningful to their spiritual development as an expression of their personal values and beliefs.
A volunteer from N.C. Sorosis Women’s Club shared: I was at my doctor's office the other day and told him I was going to volunteer with WARM. He said, ‘You're volunteering with WARM? That's better than any medicine I can give you.’
I invite you to join us, alone or with a team of friends or coworker, any day Monday through Saturday. Volunteering with WARM will improve your overall quality of life, which is the reason resolutions were invented in the first place!
Did you make any resolutions? Tell me about them in the comments section below!
Find out about volunteering with WARM at our website
Combining her professional experience in the Cape Fear region’s housing and real estate for-profit sector and volunteer experience with disaster recovery and housing-related nonprofits, JC Lyle (formerly Skane) was hired in 2009 to serve as the executive director of Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry (WARM). WARM is a grassroots nonprofit whose mission is to make homes safer by completing urgent repairs, accessibility upgrades and storm damage. Under her leadership, WARM has steadily grown from serving 44 households in 2008 to 155 households in 2016. Her public recognition includes Wilma Magazine's 2012 Woman to Watch in the Nonprofit Category, a 2014 Coastal Entrepreneur Award in the Nonprofit Category, given by the Greater Wilmington Business Journal and UNC Wilmington’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and invitations to speak at NC Center for Nonprofits Conference and NC Affordable Housing Conference. She will graduate in May with her Master of Business Administration at UNC-Wilmington.