Annette Arca always wanted to help others through volunteering, but didn't have much free time. She was too busy juggling motherhood with a full-time career as a commercial real estate professional.
Arca has time for volunteering now, ever since she was laid off from her $65,000-a-year job, a position she held for six years, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. Struggling to make ends meet with part-time real estate work and unemployment benefits, Arca cannot make the payments on her townhouse.
Despite these troubles, it's volunteering that helps her stay positive and feel fulfilled when confronting mounting bills, an unsuccessful job hunt and the reality that she may lose her home. Volunteer work can also be used constructively for career development, as it can fill in the gaps in a resume and provide networking opportunities that may lead to future employment.
She spends a day each week helping deliver more than 100 sack lunches to University Medical Center and Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center. She also spends varying hours volunteering for Family Promise, an organization that helps homeless families.
Arca also devotes time to making sandwiches and distributing lunches through the Ronald McDonald House, and has been researching grants and gathering silent auction items for Family Promise, to secure more funding for needy families.
Las Vegas' unemployment rate has soared to 13.9 percent, and volunteer centers have seen a rise in the number of jobless volunteers. Arca is one of the selfless individuals giving her time to those who are even more needy, shifting her energy away from her problems and focusing it towards helping others.