“The more you do for others, the more satisfied you are with yourself,” says Ivana Uzunic, a volunteer at Fellowship Square. Having been a former health professional, Ivana knows how commitment to kindness through volunteering has positive outcomes for those in need. She wants people to know that volunteering at Fellowship Square is very rewarding and provides a special opportunity to learn and work in a multicultural and multilingual environment. She believes that Fellowship Square approaches each resident’s needs individually through a superior level of support. Each time she volunteers, “I learn something new, and that is what is most important for me.”
When Ms. Uzunic visits Hunters Woods Fellowship House, she is impressed by how well the staff is welcoming, kind, and friendly to her, and that the staff and residents are respectful of each other and work very well together. The supportive home environment, as well as activities, events, and services that Fellowship Square provides to its people were the main reasons Ivana decided to volunteer at Hunters Woods Fellowship House. She can give back to the local community and keep doing the humanitarian work that she enjoys.
Through her weekly interactions with Hunters Woods residents, Ivana has started to learn how to pronounce numbers and a few other words in Korean and Chinese. This has helped her during food distribution, especially when communicating with residents who are not fluent English speakers. Also, she works on memorizing which foods each of the residents prefers in order to serve them better. These personalized interactions with residents are very satisfying; they motivate her to stay involved and gain a deeper understanding of different people’s cultures, backgrounds, and needs.
One of Ivana’s biggest supporters is her husband. Although he would also like to assist her with some of the volunteering activities, his work schedule does not allow for it. Another positive force for Ivana is working alongside Hunters Wood’s Service Coordinator, Jane Kung. Jane is “creative, ambitious, detail-oriented, open and honest in her communication, and she has a strong work ethic. She is a professional who shows by her example how something should be done professionally. She is inspirational to me and that is something that I really admire.”
For others who may be thinking about volunteering for organizations such as Fellowship Square, Ivana recommends they get involved as soon as practical. It will be a benefit not only to those they serve but will have a positive impact on the person volunteering. Volunteering allows people to broaden their horizons and gain personal satisfaction in knowing they have given back to those in need.