Muhammad Ali said, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.” The professional boxer and activist’s words ring true for many local people.
In 2019, 1,611 volunteers contributed 23,770 hours of service through the City of Plymouth’s volunteer program.
“[Nancy Jensen and Leanne Loren] often volunteer together for major special events as event captains,” says Jackie Maas, volunteer coordinator. “They take on additional responsibility to provide work direction to other volunteers during the event ... Nancy and Leanne provide extra resources with their skills of planning, organization and problem solving to keep the event running smoothly.”
The duo assists as community engagement ambassadors during open houses for the Plymouth Creek Expansion Project.
Jensen volunteers at the farmer’s market, assists incoming students of the Plymouth Skate School and helps Maas plan the annual volunteer recognition event.
“... I feel I am more involved in the city events and have become aware of the many services the city offers ...,” Jensen says. “Working with volunteers ... has allowed me to meet people with interesting backgrounds, and many of those people have become special and lasting friendships. I feel that volunteering is my way to give back to the city of Plymouth ...”
After retiring, Loren expanded her volunteer contributions, sharing her project manager skills. “She has been working with Danette Parr, the city’s economic developer, to enhance the city’s online property finding tool,” Maas says. She also volunteers in the Millennium Garden, assisting bridal parties and maintaining the garden.
“... volunteering provides me with a sense of accomplishment [and] knowledge that I am making a difference to my community,” Loren says. “Along the way, the unexpected has happened. I have sharpened my professional skills, specifically demographic awareness, and increased my sense of fulfillment and energy, creating balance in my life. But most importantly, I have gained life-long friendships through ... [volunteering]”