This month’s Project Leader Spotlight belongs to Benjamin Benson. Benjamin began volunteering with HandsOn Broward in July of 2013, and a little over a year later he went through the Project Leader Training. Before he officially became a Project Leader, Benjamin volunteered with a variety of organizations, such as the Dania Beach PATCH, Feeding South Florida, Greater Horizons Academy, and our monthly DIY (Do It Yourself) volunteer projects.
“Like most volunteers, I’m always looking for a way to give back to my community and have fun doing it,” Benjamin said. “Sometimes you see awful things about your community on the news, or in the streets that you wish you could help with, or change for the better. It’s a personal goal of mine to better my community, and volunteering via HOB has helped me meet these goals.”
Currently, Benjamin is leading a monthly project with LifeNet4Families. LifeNet4Families assists Broward County individuals and families in poverty by providing meals, counseling and support to those in need. On the first Friday of each month, Benjamin leads a group of 5 volunteers in greeting guests, serving a meal, cleaning tables, and assisting with clean-up at the end of the service at LifeNet4Families. They serve up to 200 meals each day.
When asked why he decided to make the transition from volunteer to Project Leader, Benjamin said, “As much as I like working within a team and helping to get the work done, I love leading. I enjoy the feeling knowing that I was able to direct and manage a group of strangers to meet the goals of a project.”
During the holiday season, Benjamin led a group of Elementary School aged students at Greater Horizons Academy in making holiday cards for our troops. This is an issue that is near and dear to Benjamin’s heart because he is a member of the US Army Reserve. This project is the perfect example of a Project Leader taking an issue that they are passionate about and creating their own project to lead focused on that issue.
“I would recommend volunteers to become a Project Leader because it’s challenging. Becoming a Project Leader sometimes requires you to think on your feet,” Benjamin said. “In addition to taking a role that’s challenging, as a Project Leader, you get the opportunity to create a project for a pressing issue in the community HOB hasn’t yet developed a project for.”
Benjamin also shared some advice for new volunteers. “Once you sign up for a project, follow through on that project and get it done,” he said. “The end result of your hard work and personal sacrifice is unbelievably rewarding to clients and to yourself.”
Thank you, Benjamin, for serving our country and our community! We hope other volunteers are inspired by your motivation to make a positive impact in our community.