All NorthPointe Resources program participants are encouraged to be active volunteers. Almost exclusively, program participants receive help from other people, which can at times be disempowering. When people with I/DD and mental illness are able to use their gifts and skills to help other people, they gain a fresh sense of independence and responsibility, which often brings increased feelings of self-esteem, empowerment, satisfaction, better health, and happiness.
Other benefits include:
Benefits to both the volunteer organizations and the volunteers are numerous, and good for the communities themselves. Unfortunately, persons with I/DD and mental illness are heavily underutilized in volunteer programs, despite their many potential contributions.
Two programs we currently participate in are:
Meals on Wheels America supports more than 5,000 community-based senior nutrition programs across the country dedicated to addressing senior hunger and isolation.
The Feeding America nationwide network of food banks secures and distributes more than 3 billion meals each year to communities throughout the United States.