What Volunteering Means to Me

EmblemHealth team member Serena Lewis, Program Specialist in Community Care Strategy, provides personal insight on how her love of volunteering impacts both her professional and personal life.


What is volunteering? I’m not sure I can really define it. Mainly because volunteering feels as beneficial for me as it may be for the person or group I’m helping. I’m truly motivated by my love for others and wanting to support and uplift anyone I can. I believe it’s important to give your time to others in a meaningful way. And it would be misleading not to express how I benefit. When you meet the people you’re helping, you learn and develop skills that can be used both personally and professionally. I credit many of my interpersonal skills to my volunteer experiences. However, I think the largest benefit is to your health. You just feel good!

When you have an innate desire to help others, it becomes a defining characteristic and an important part of your personal purpose. There are so many good people in the world who genuinely care. Spending time helping others is the best way I know how to show that I care. This is also the driving force behind the love I have for my job. Working with our EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care team bridges the gap between my career and my desire to help others.


Let’s set the scene: It is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and I am volunteering at an event in Jamaica, Queens. At some point, I am talking with a handful of EmblemHealth members about how they want to take a proactive role in their health. I naturally begin to tell them all about our Neighborhood Care locations and the how our team members there can help them achieve this goal. So there I am, working on my day off without a second thought. When you love what you do, it never really feels like work.


The positive impact Neighborhood Care has on the lives of our members and the communities we serve is remarkable. As a patient advocate, I am aware of how a casual interaction can positively impact someone’s life. We lessen the load of our members and empower them to take a proactive role in their health. As a result, our members see us as more than an insurance company. We’re helping them build a healthier future.


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