ENN's mission is to connect neighbors for friendship and well-being in life's third act. How do we do that?
Volunteering is one way people connect.
We often see friendships develop between ENN Members and Volunteers. Here are just a few examples.
- A member/volunteer who lost her dog early this year met a member who was seeking dog-walking assistance. Since then, the two have been walking the member's two dogs every week.
- A couple who volunteered to drive a member to an event discovered they all shared a love of art. They visited the Bellevue Arts Museum together and have since become regulars at ENN's bi-weekly Art History Special Interest Group.
- A volunteer and member discovered they were both SIFF members. When the member could no longer get to Seattle on her own, the volunteer accompanied her to 5 films she would otherwise have to miss.
- A volunteer who loves gardening began helping a member with her extensive garden. They became friends and are now working together on a book on gardening.
- A member who loves bridge volunteered to start a bridge-for-beginners group that has met weekly since February. (They are no longer beginners!) The group now plays online due to COVID-19 restrictions.
- A member whose yoga teacher also teaches meditation invited her teacher to lead a Mindfulness Meditation Group. The teacher volunteered to guide a group that has met every other week since March; the group gather edat a member's home for a special dinner in December 2019. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the group now meets online for a one-hour group meditation on alternate Friday afternoons.
- Several members wanted to learn Mahjong and started playing with a group of residents at The Gardens at Town Square (our 2019 platinum sponsor). When the COVID-19 crisis began, meetings were suspended; some members are now using an online Mahjongg web site to practice and learn together.
Benefits of Volunteering
People who volunteer "tend to be at lower risk for loneliness and depression," according to a recent blog post on the Era Living web site. The post cites a Harvard Business Review article that "revealed that volunteers felt more effective, productive, and abundant in the time they had, even after volunteering to give it away." The writer points out that, "For many, starting friendships later in life feels harder...Plus, it can just be awkward, at almost any stage of life." Volunteering affords opportunities for conversation to flow from shared activities and can be a gateway to new friendships.
Just want to socialize? Neighbors often discover connections at our coffees & luncheons.
A newcomer to our group wrote ...."I found that one of the members and I have many things to share and discuss, such as living within a few blocks of each other just north of Bellevue Square before 'BELLEVUE SQUARE' became what it is today! Her husband was Indian and my son-in-law is Indian, and my daughter-in-law is half Indian. I don't often come across these kinds of connections. I am thrilled!"
Looking for new opportunities to connect? Want to learn more about how friendships thrive and grow? Our March program, "Friends for Life," has been postponed due to health concerns, but we've posted a summary of articles on making and keeping friendships on the Calendar page for the event.