Volunteering straight from the heart

As a volunteer for Partridge Creek Farm and the Greater Ishpeming-Negaunee Area Chamber of Commerce, it is both a pleasure and an experience of a lifetime for me to serve in a volunteer capacity.

Each day when I walk through the doors of the chamber or the Partridge Creek Farm Office, there is something new and interesting to do. Honestly, there seems to never be a dull moment! From large-scale fundraisers such as GINCC’s Cosmic Glow Golf and PCF’s Harvest Festival; to weekly participating in and selling freshly harvested produce at both the Negaunee and Marquette farmers markets on Wednesday and Saturday; or helping with projects and tourists at the chamber.

There is such a variety of ways for anyone who is interested in becoming a volunteer to serve in the community through the giving of your skills, talents, abilities and natural gifts. As a volunteer, you will have the opportunity to work directly through hands-on experience in peaking your interest or vocational objectives in whatever area they may be, because there is a place for you. And I have definitely found MY place, among the gardens of PCF and the fundraisers for GINCC!

New volunteers, experienced or inexperienced, are welcomed all year through at both GINCC and PCF; and, if either organization is not for you, don’t fret! GINCC can connect you with other volunteer opportunities throughout Marquette County, as there are always other organizations yearning for our help and dedication.

I began volunteering over the course of the summer when I came across a Facebook post that featured Partridge Creek Farm and the work they do at their various raised-garden beds throughout downtown Ishpeming. The post provided information about their website and how to become a volunteer–well, the rest is history, as I currently serve as PCF’s operations/business manager! Through this enjoyable volunteer position, I have the opportunity to work with other volunteers; staff and board of directors members in PCF’s mission to being “dedicated to improving local access to fresh produce, building a healthy community and to promoting education on sustainable food systems.”

I began volunteering with GINCC when I happened to come into the chamber one day for information about the area (I am a California transplant!). I spoke with the employees and found out the many volunteer opportunities they had, and such a variety! I’ve enjoyed volunteering with Cosmic Glow Golf, attending the Business After Hours and helping out around the chamber office.

Anything I do for both GINCC and PCF is personally empowering because I am “doing” it from my heart.

Editor’s note: Debra Williams is a guest writer and chief volunteer with the Greater Ishpeming-Negaunee Area Chamber of Commerce and Partridge Creek Farm.