Many volunteers serve at A.G. Rhodes through Hands On Atlanta, a nonprofit organization that helps individuals, families, corporate and community groups find volunteer opportunities in the community.
In 2015, A.G. Rhodes became a partner agency with Hands On Atlanta’s Civic Leadership Program (CLP), which provides an opportunity for civic leaders to further their own personal and professional development goals by mobilizing volunteer teams to complete monthly service projects with nonprofit partners, such as A.G. Rhodes.
“The CLP volunteer leaders are a tremendous asset to our volunteer program,” says Kim Beasley, Director of Volunteer Services and Community Engagement at A.G. Rhodes. “They’ve already shown their dedication to leadership development and community service by being accepted into the CLP, and because they lead projects on a regular basis, they really get to know the Activity Department staff, the residents and the volunteers they recruit. The relationships they help cultivate among these groups are what make our volunteer program and residents thrive.”
Jekia Ford, a recent graduate of the CLP who led service projects at A.G. Rhodes’ Wesley Woods home, wasn’t sure what to expect when she first started volunteering with seniors.
“When I went into A.G. Rhodes, I was a little apprehensive about working with seniors and I wasn’t sure what to expect,” says Ford. “After a while serving as a volunteer leader, I started to build relationships with the seniors and get to know them on a one-on-one level. It was very transformative and I started to look at my role there differently. I realized that everyone in life is going to, at some point, go through what they are going through. It made my role in service more meaningful.”
Many of the CLP graduates continue volunteering at A.G. Rhodes even after their required service hours are complete. Deneil Jennings finished the CLP program in 2016, and continues to bring volunteers to A.G. Rhodes’ Atlanta home. Jennings also serves as a mentor to teenage girls, and frequently brings them to volunteer.
“Service matters, and I think it starts with our seniors and our youth and we have to find ways to give back to those who have given so much for us,” says Jennings. “I mentor and every month I bring out a group of young ladies to volunteer. They’ve learned so much, they’ve become more compassionate, and they’re more patient.”
As a result of the partnership with Hands On Atlanta, more than 800 volunteers have participated in service projects led by CLP volunteer leaders at the A.G. Rhodes homes.
“I feel a sense of peace when I volunteer—maybe because it’s not about me. I believe that what we are all on this Earth to do is to be of service to each other,” says Ford.
For more information about volunteer opportunities at A.G. Rhodes, visit www.agrhodes.org/volunteer.
For more information about Hands On Atlanta’s Civic Leadership Program, visit www.handsonatlanta.org/civicleader.