CAMP ZAMA, Japan — Whether or not it’s educating English, serving to newcomers or baking lots of of cookies to share, Terry Owens enjoys any alternative to volunteer in the local people.
Owens, a former Soldier and partner of a U.S. Military Japan civilian, usually lends a hand to a number of efforts by the Military Neighborhood Service right here.
She repeatedly assists with the newcomer orientations, offering a pleasant face and answering questions from individuals who could also be overwhelmed after shifting abroad.
“Camp Zama is such a small neighborhood and I believe that all of us form of have to face up and do our half,” she stated. “I really feel just like the true pleasure is [found] in giving.”
As a part of Volunteer Appreciation Week, noticed this yr April 17 by way of 23, the Military is presently highlighting those that selflessly take the time to make a distinction within the lives of others.
The Military usually depends on volunteers to maintain companies and packages operating easily. In fiscal 2020, for example, volunteers contributed greater than 109,000 hours for the Military, which had been valued at about $3 million in value financial savings, based on Military set up officers.
The Camp Zama ACS usually has eight volunteers, together with Owens, who help with particular initiatives, programming and occasions on an ongoing foundation, stated Jennifer Partridge, its director.
“Volunteers are wanted to assist an array of neighborhood actions, notably in an abroad setting,” Partridge stated. “Neighborhood-based organizations and actions that assist the standard of lifetime of our Troopers, civilians and relations can’t perform with out the assist of volunteers.”
Partridge stated that Owens brings a “welcoming persona” when she meets newly assigned personnel on the newcomer orientations.
“She has an unlimited data of the neighborhood actions and has immersed [herself] within the Japanese tradition and might present perception on actions off put up,” Partridge stated. “As a former army member herself, she will be able to additionally relate to the experiences of the active-duty personnel who’re stationed in an abroad setting.”
Partridge added that volunteerism is a win-win for each the volunteer and group, since it will possibly create a social connection and supply beneficial experiences for these concerned.
Having the ability to meet new individuals whereas giving again to the neighborhood motivates Owens to proceed volunteering, she stated.
In March, she helped manage and supply remarks for a U.S. Military Japan luncheon to commemorate Girls’s Historical past Month. She additionally made and handed out popcorn on the USARJ headquarters constructing for Nationwide Worker Appreciation Day.
Earlier this yr, she started volunteering to show English lessons to Zama metropolis authorities officers.
Throughout Thanksgiving, she even helped put together a meal for single Troopers. And for final yr’s Nationwide Chocolate Chip Cookie Day, she baked 200 to 300 cookies that had been then distributed to places of work right here for Operation Unfold Good Cheer, which ACS organizes throughout holidays.
“I by no means made so many cookies in my life,” Owens stated, laughing. “It was nonstop [baking] for a few half a day.”
Owens believes in treating individuals the way in which she would want to be handled. That “Golden Rule” philosophy could be replicated when individuals volunteer or do one thing that advantages the neighborhood.
“I really feel prefer it creates a constructive ripple impact, since you’re finally doing one thing that you simply take pleasure in, and that happiness is shared,” she stated of volunteering. “I believe individuals form of choose up on that [and] it creates a extra constructive setting all the way in which round.”
An act of kindness doesn’t essentially must be a big, deliberate occasion. For example, whereas strolling close to a neighborhood prepare station someday, Owens seen some U.S. Military personnel new to Japan who had been misplaced. So she determined to point out them methods to buy a prepare ticket.
“It’s simply little issues like that, that I believe form of hold this neighborhood going,” she stated. “If you happen to could be that constructive affect in any individual’s life, then hopefully they are going to pay it ahead.”