Volunteerism: The Backbone of Non-Profits

Volunteerism is not only a way to give back to your community and to develop important social skills, but also the backbone of many non-profit organizations. Of the hundreds of volunteers that make Fort4Fitness events possible each year, there are those that keep coming back and have formed a special bond with our organization and its participants. Jennyfer Balkema is one of those volunteers! 

Jenn has been volunteering for organizations since high school as a way to make a difference in her community. She has felt a special connection to Fort4Fitness because of the friends and relationships she’s developed throughout the years at each event. Balkema and her family have not only been volunteering, but also participating in Fort4Fitness events since the beginning. Balkema and her son participate in the Kit’s Club marathon events each year and even complete the final mile together.

When asked what makes Fort4Fitness special, Jenn, being an avid runner herself, said, “Fort4Fitness events bring different walks of life in Fort Wayne together in one big wellness event.” Her favorite Fort4Fitness event to volunteer for is Summer Sunset Relay because she’s able to enjoy the event with her son and have a little fun while she’s at it, getting to squirt participants with water guns. Balkema says that she’s been volunteering long enough, participants now recognize her when running past!

Balkema says her favorite thing about being a Fort4Fitness volunteer is watching the events grow from the small Packet Pick-Up in the library to the thousands of participants and multiple events throughout the year.

Balkema urges others to join in volunteering not only for Fort4Fitness, but in their community as whole. She says, “You never know what someone is going through, and if you can make an impact in their little corner of the world and if I can make just a small impact, then I've left my mark and the world just a little bit brighter. Spread kindness little bit by little bit.”

Article by Megan Strickler, Fort4Fitness Communication/Events Intern

Posted in: Fall Festival, General, Spring Cycle, Summer Sunset Relay, Winter Wonder Dash<