‘Without volunteers, we wouldn’t exist’: Local nonprofit shares the importance of volunteering

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Volunteers play a vital role, not only in organizations but also in entire communities.

Non-profits like the Heavens Helpers Soup Cafe in Bismarck rely heavily on volunteers and say they are essential for keeping things running smoothly.

On a daily basis, the cafe needs 30 people to help make food, serve it and clean up afterward.

“If we didn’t have volunteers, we just wouldn’t be able to run. I mean there’s no way you can hire 10 or 20 people to run this and be able to pay for that. So without volunteers, we wouldn’t exist,” explained Mark Meier, the Executive Director for Heavens Helpers Soup Cafe.

Organizations say they’re able to keep their doors open because of volunteers, but it’s those helping that say it’s beneficial for them as well.

“It’s kind of nice to pay it forward. And right now I’m helping other people, who knows, somewhere along the way I’m gonna be needing somebody else’s help. And hopefully, at that point, they will step up and that’s really the way to look at it. We never know when you’re going to be needing a hand yourself,” shared volunteer Reza Kamranian.

“I love to meet so many new volunteers. There’s always something new every day that I come and I just want to like I said pay it forward,” shared volunteer Renee Jangula.

Mental Health Councilor Greg Molinaro says volunteering allows people to find a sense of community while being able to connect with others.

“It takes their mind off of the things that are difficult for them, a distraction for them, even as they’re going through some difficult parts of life that to be able to put volunteering in as part of their lifestyle, it helps them,” explained Molinaro.

Molinaro says volunteering also helps people find a sense of belonging and purpose.

Heaven’s Helpers Soup Cafe has expanded its services throughout the community with Closet 701, and soon, the Heavens Helpers Repurpose Store, meaning they are always in need of volunteers even beyond the kitchen.

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