Care Teams Volunteers Discover Unexpected Benefits

full life care volunteers

During National Volunteer Appreciation Week, April 21-27, 2024 we honor Full Life’s committed community volunteers. Staff often marvel at their dedication and we’re always curious to know what motivates them.

Full Life volunteers come from all walks of life — the retiree, the college student, the midlife professional, the stay-at-home moms and dads, service veterans. For some volunteers, it is their first time ever in this type of role, while others have dedicated a portion of their free time to volunteering throughout their lives.

The Care Teams Program connects and prepares small teams of volunteers to support unpaid caregivers who take care of a veteran or senior loved one.  We ask them to train and collaborate with other volunteers to form a team. Together, they connect with their caregiver, learning about their experiences, identifying where their skills and knowledge will be most valuable, and supplying them with several hours of worry-free respite each month. It seems like a lot to ask of these volunteers whose lives are so busy already, yet they offer this time willingly. Though we know how much it benefits the Caregiver and Care Recipient, it’s great to know that the volunteer also gains so much benefit from their experiences.

Hannah’s Volunteer Experience: Making Connections 

Care Team volunteer Hannah, along with volunteers Morghan and Zu, work together to support Caregiver Marc and his mother Cheryl. The primary role of their team is to offer social support to Cheryl so that Marc can enjoy much needed respite knowing his mom is with friends. This can include a date night with his wife, time for his own interests or merely relaxing to reduce stress.

“Our journey with Cheryl began in early summer, amidst the hot summer days when the family backyard was flourishing with corn tended by Marc’s wife, Erika. Marc welcomed us into the cool comfort of their air-conditioned home. Our initial introduction unfolded over a dinner with Marc, his wife Erika, and Marc’s mother Cheryl (who the pair care for).

“Much like our first meeting, our following gatherings often centered around the dinner table. It’s been so enriching as Cheryl is full of stories from her past. Despite the presence of dementia symptoms, Cheryl’s enthusiasm for sharing her passions, particularly her love for cooking and gardening, remain undiminished.

“Erika and Marc, with their adventurous and caring spirits, immerse themselves in their community, evident in the abundance of holiday decorations that never fail to impress (and by the fact that Erika turned her corn crop into a Halloween maze that garnered a spot on the local news!). Over the past few months, alongside my teammates, we’ve had the privilege of getting to know this family. Full Life Care not only provided an avenue to explore new facets of the Seattle community but also connected me with a team and a family I might never have encountered otherwise.”

Various Rewards of Volunteering

Hannah is not alone in expressing what many volunteers are surprised to discover — that the services they provide not only benefit the recipient, but also enrich their lives on many levels. The Mayo Clinic reveals that there is research to prove that volunteering even improves one’s mental and physical health.

When polled, our volunteers share that what they gain far outweighs what they give:

“[Volunteering] broadens my horizons, enhances my confidence, and helps me learn to interact with others. [I’m] learning to understand differences, respect diversity, and effectively express myself.” — Zu, Care Teams volunteer

“I am so honored and blessed to be able to provide my contribution, even though it is small. It has allowed me to channel my energy towards a meaningful cause, brought happiness through contributing to the well-being of others, and provided a sense of calmness and peace through the connections formed with individuals like the Care Participants.” — Cheryl, Care Teams volunteer


“Our time together has a life generating quality of Spring where new growth and promise abound. I have learned so much from their lovely sharing and their tenderness towards each other that I can hardly say I am the only one providing support.” — Angie, Care Teams volunteer

Experience for Yourself!

We honor our dedicated volunteers and invite you to get involved in service that will be fulfilling for you. Learn more about Care Teams, and explore Full Life Care’s additional volunteer options at