Dodge County is the first Blue Zones Project demonstration site in Wisconsin. Learn about what has been happening and what you can look forward to in our community.
Volunteering with Purpose
Why did you get up this morning? Have you been looking for more in life? Passions that excite you? Work that fulfills you? In this busy world and our busy lives, it is often difficult to carve out the time to evaluate what really matters. Purpose is the antidote to the busy-ness, and often emptiness, in many people’s lives. Blue Zones® researcher Dan Buettner discovered that knowing your purpose and being able to articulate it can add up to seven good years to your life.
Thanks to a sponsorship by Beaver Dam Community Hospitals, Inc., Blue Zones Project is able to offer free Purpose Workshops to our community. Purpose Workshops provide an opportunity for you to carve out two hours in your busy life for an interactive, life-changing experience exploring what your purpose is. Participants actively participate in engaging, fun activities to help them discover their gifts and then begin to understand how they can use these gifts to live life with greater purpose. Led by a trained facilitator, these workshops have helped individuals either redirect or affirm their current trajectory. People leave feeling great about the direction of their lives.
Finding purpose in what you do each day is vital for well-being. Using your gifts in your paid work or home responsibilities is ideal, but volunteering is also a great way to use your gifts, passions, and values. People who volunteer have lower rates of cancer, heart disease, and depression, as well as lower healthcare costs. Blue Zones Project has partnered with local non-profit organizations to curate several volunteer opportunities in our community.
Habitat for Humanity of Washington and Dodge County is currently building their second home in Juneau. Habitat for Humanity relies on volunteers to help build homes that are affordable to the families that eventually own them. The program model provides a hand up, rather than ahand out to future homeowners. Craig and Charlotte Schwark, along with their three children, are excited to see the progress being made on their future home in Juneau. The couple worked alongside more than twenty different community volunteers during the two group volunteer build days hosted by Blue Zones Project in November and December.
Volunteers used their time and talent to hang drywall and paint the family’s future home. Offering a hand in the build required only a willingness to contribute. Training and equipment were provided by core volunteers and staff that work with Habitat for Humanity. Volunteer Stephanie Meier shared that she was nervous about her first experience volunteering with Habitat for Humanity but she truly enjoyed the experience.
Just as everyone’s purpose is unique, so too is the way in which they share their gifts. Marianne Zastrow has been a part of a Blue Zones Project Walking Moai since April 2017. Marianne also volunteers at Clearview Rehabilitation and Nursing home in Juneau. The annual holiday bazaar at Clearview offers residents and the community an opportunity to start their holiday shopping with handmade gifts and treats. Inspired by Blue Zones Project, Marianne recruited members of her Moai to make healthy snacks so that shoppers had another choice. The money raised from the sale of the healthy snacks were donated to Project Merry Christmas which ensures that all residents of Clearview Nursing & Rehabilitation home receive a gift on Christmas. Marianne’s Moai raised nearly $100 for Project Merry Christmas, enough to purchase gifts for at least four Clearview residents.
Gifts are best when they are given away but the first step in sharing your gifts is to discover them. Take time to think about what you truly love to do or attend an upcoming Blue Zones Project Purpose Workshop to help yourself take this first step. Once you know what your purpose is, be intentional about living your life with purpose. Not only could it add more years to your life, it will add more life to your years.
Learn more about Blue Zones Project Dodge County and find upcoming Purpose Workshops and other events by visiting the website www.dodgecounty.bluezonesproject.com. You can also call (920) 212-8511, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blue Zones Project is a community-led well-being improvement initiative designed to make healthy choices easier through permanent changes to a city’s environment, policy, and social networks. The project has been brought to Dodge County by Beaver Dam Community Hospitals, Inc. Blue Zones Project is a division of Sharecare. For more information, visit www.bluezonesproject.com.