May 22, 2024
Our military community is incredibly dependent on volunteerism. Without spouses and service members actively volunteering on and off installation, life for military families would be far more difficult and far less fulfilling. Join co-hosts Faith Bomar and Lynda Lind as they have a conversation with award winning USA Today and Amazon best selling author Eric Gardner and retired Navy Human Resources Officer and current Army spouse Heather Kline. Eric and Heather share a wealth of information about finding volunteer opportunities that can give you a sense of purpose, translate to work experience and support our service members, families and communities. Just bring YOU, we all have value to add.

Our military community is incredibly dependent on volunteerism. Without spouses and service members actively volunteering on and off installation, life for military families would be far more difficult and far less fulfilling. Join co-hosts Faith Bomar and Lynda Lind as they have a conversation with award winning USA Today and Amazon best selling author Eric Gardner and retired Navy Human Resources Officer and current Army spouse Heather Kline. Eric and Heather share a wealth of information about finding volunteer opportunities that can give you a sense of purpose, translate to work experience and support our service members, families and communities. Just bring YOU, we all have value to add.

I would say probably the most value added way to get someone to step up to volunteer and as simplistic as it sounds I think it’s 100% spot on is to really ask…it’s that piece of bringing the volunteer into the fold

EPISODE TAKEAWAYS:

  1. Volunteering can give you a sense of home and belonging. Constant moves and continual change can cause people to become disconnected from the community they’re a part of. It’s easy to withdraw into your immediate family, but if you’re the type of person that needs interaction and belonging outside the home, volunteering can give you a renewed sense of purpose.
  2. Two great places to start looking for volunteer opportunities on any installation are the USO or the service support centers listed below
  3. Also take a look for Local Volunteer Opportunities at Military OneSource and the Army’s Volunteer Management Information System
  4. If you’re stressing over your upcoming PCS and having trouble sleeping, bone up on the official policy on DOD INSTRUCTION 1100.21 Voluntary Services In The Department Of Defense. It will be the best night’s sleep you’ve had in ages.
  5. If you’re the one looking for volunteers, you have to ask them personally to be effective. You can find volunteers by casting broad calls for help, but to really get someone to commit you have to ask them individually to volunteer for something that suits their personal strengths. Generic requests for volunteers allow people to assume that someone else will do the job.
  6. Once you get someone to volunteer make sure what your asking is reasonable. Everybody can come up with an hour of time to volunteer – they can’t always find 20 hours or a whole week. Start small and get them to realize how rewarding the opportunity can be.
  7. Never use the word JUST when describing your volunteer efforts. When you’re describing what you’ve done as a volunteer, especially when communicating with a potential employer, don’t minimize your impact. Someone out there is looking to employ you and your particular talents, and JUST because you didn’t get paid as a volunteer doesn’t mean your expertise isn’t valued. You’re already the Chief Life Officer (CLO) for your family. Figure out how those talents translate to your resume.
  8. At the end of the day our military lives are better for all of the efforts of volunteers. If every volunteer on every installation didn’t come to work one day it would be a very bad day for service members and their families. So much of the goodness that is our military community relies on the kindness and exhaustive efforts of volunteers. Why wouldn’t you want to be a part of something so powerful and important?

Eric Gardner is an award winning, USA Today and Amazon best selling author. Born in NC, he wears many hats outside his writing career. He’s the spouse of an active duty military member, veteran, stay-at-home Dad, and former military brat.

Heather Kline is presently a Talent Acquisition Contractor with Client Solution Architects. She is a retired Navy Human Resource Officer with 22 years of service. Her passion runs deep as a Veteran and MILspouse Advocate where she tirelessly builds strong community bonds.

Faith Bomar is not as funny as she thinks she is, according to her loving Army officer husband of nineteen years. She is the mother of four children only because it seemed like a good idea at the time and as a result of this, she has changed dirty diapers from CA to PA and on three different continents. When avoiding cooking dinner she spends her time working outside of the home as a Doula and giving her time away to the community as a perpetually unprofessional volunteer.

Lynda Lind has spent the last 15 years as a Navy wife and devoted volunteer. She is a stay-at-home mother of 2 with the survival skills needed for 7 moves and multiple deployments. She likes to spend her free time cooking and sewing, and has loved this year learning more about how the Army does things.

The views expressed in this presentation are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Army War College, U.S. Army, or Department of Defense.

Photo Credit: James Montgomery Flagg (1877–1960)

Other releases in the “Mil Spouse Edition”:

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