To the Editor:
Making a difference in a community is one of the true benefits of volunteering. To quote Martin Luther King, “Everybody can be great because everybody can serve”. I became involved in HUGS II (Help Us Get Safe) of Easton in 1999, when I was in the midst of my doctoral work. My interest was (and still is) advocacy and helping those who may not be able to speak or do for themselves. Being a nurse, advocacy is central to the role. As part of my coursework, I chose to do a concept analysis on advocacy. I attended a HUGS II meeting at OAHS one winter evening to view advocacy in action. Later on, I interviewed the President of HUGS II, Denise Papagno and discovered the services offered to the community and what these volunteer members actually do. I was amazed and decided to go to meetings each month, continuing my concept analysis. I became immersed into the activities, fundraising and awareness programs HUGS II offered. I befriended some very remarkable people and saw their devotion to the cause firsthand. I completed the concept analysis and made the decision to become a “real” member of HUGS II, that was 13 years ago. What HUGS II has done for our community of Easton is noteworthy. The lives that have been transformed, the connections made to services and overall safety awareness are just some of the impressive accomplishments HUGS II has done for Easton. Volunteering is ultimately about helping others and having an impact on people’s wellbeing. It can improve one’s own health as well. What better way is there to connect with your community and give a little back? HUGS II will be having an Open House on 1/15/13 from 7-9pm at the Brocktonian Room of Stonehill College, 16 Belmont St. in Easton. Come find out firsthand as I did what HUGS II does as well as find out how you too can get involved! Refreshments will be served.