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Sticking to your New Year resolutions: Volunteering edition

There are a lot of options when it comes to being a healthcare volunteer. More than you've probably even considered.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Throughout the month of January, many people make it a priority to come up with a New Year resolution.

Some people set goals to do some good and give back. There are many organizations that rely on the help of volunteers including one area we know all too well is overwhelmed right now: healthcare.

"Is it in a skilled nursing care? Do you want to work in home care? Do you want to volunteer in a hospital setting? Do you want to volunteer in a clinic? So we have all of those opportunities," said Heide Cornell, director of volunteer services at Catholic Health.

There are a lot of options when it comes to being a healthcare volunteer. More than you've probably even considered.

"We've even had volunteers who've decided to take their dogs, their home dogs and get them trained," Cornell said. "So they could be therapy dogs with us, because they've seen the therapy dogs, and that's what they decided they wanted to do. So we have many opportunities for humans and canine."

Cornell says they have just under 300 volunteers now and there is plenty of room for more.

The story of volunteering is that you get more than you give and what many of these opportunities are really offering now are something that's been harder to come by the past couple of years: support and connection.

"What we have found is we have a different group of people now, after the pandemic, that want to volunteer, we have folks who maybe you shifted to a work from home environment that have extra time," Cornell said. "And they came from an environment where they were maybe in an office or in a building with lots of people, and they could socialize, and now they find themselves at home, isolated and they need that social interaction. Volunteering is a great way for them to be able to not only give back, but have productive use of that time and bond with other people."

Heide says she meets with volunteers individually to help find a perfect fit. Some have gone on to turn their volunteering experiences into careers. You can learn more about all of this by clicking here.

"It allows you to touch the lives of so many people across our community and really tap into that city of good neighbors," said Heide.