Don’t Wait Like I Did, Volunteer Today

Published on January 14, 2017 under High Hopes

My first year as a member of High Hopes Foundation of New Hampshire.

Cary Vance at the 2016 Spring GalaThis time last year I first connected with High Hopes Foundation of New Hampshire. I moved to southern New Hampshire for a new job in 2011. Moving from western Massachusetts I had worked on consulting projects with a couple of small socially-conscious companies and I had volunteered for a non-profit through my graduate school. Fresh off those experiences, which I absolutely loved, I was planning to find an organization in the area to volunteer my time – I even mentioned it during my job interview. But things kept coming up and a volunteering opportunity just didn’t fall out of the sky for me.

Over the years I made a few passive attempts to find an organization that was a good fit, but last year my New Year’s Resolution “forced” me to take a more active approach. I was looking for a non-profit organization that benefited the local community (preferably children), which needed help with its website. I found High Hopes Foundation pretty quickly and there was a need for website help – a great fit all around. I took over management of the organization’s website in mid-January and a few weeks later I was asked to join the Board of Directors. I spent about 40 hours over those first few weeks updating and organizing the website – I’m constantly looking to improve the site, tweaking and adjusting the structure and content, so I would really appreciate any feedback on ways to improve the site (

Over the past year I have truly enjoyed my time with High Hopes Foundation, getting to know the other volunteers and attending the fundraising events. The Spring Gala was the first event I attended as a member of the organization and my parents traveled from northern Vermont to share the experience with me – it was a really memorable night and a great first event. I attended the inaugural NH Bacon & Beer Festival, but as a spectator for obvious reasons, and I really had a blast! All of the events I attended over the course of the year were memorable – the beautiful cars at the British Car Show, riding around in the golf cart with Jay taking photos on the golf course at the Peterborough Open, chasing around the balls at the Pirate & Princess Festival (there wasn’t a backstop behind the stacked cans and ALL the kids had strong arms!), and being around all the enthusiastic bowlers at Strikers East. I even enjoyed my time standing in the rain beside a trail in the middle of nowhere, directing runners over a bridge for a charity run – because it was for a good cause. The monthly board meetings have become a highlight, getting to know the other directors and learning more and more about the organization.

This has been a great year and I look forward to many more with High Hopes Foundation. I STRONGLY recommend finding a non-profit organization and volunteering your time. I think it’s very rewarding and there are a lot of worthwhile organizations in need of help. Maybe you’re like me and you have a specific skill you’d like to put to good use (marketing, community outreach, event planning, etc…) or you just want to help out wherever you can, I urge you to get out there. Even helping out in a limited capacity – volunteering for a single event – may help you determine if it’s a good fit before committing long-term to an organization. Make it your New Year’s Resolution if you need a little push like I did! I’m so happy to be a part of High Hopes Foundation of New Hampshire.



Cary with his Parents at the 2016 Spring GalaImage SpacerCary Setting Up the Cans at the 2016 Pirate and Princess Festival

Cary at the 2016 NH Bacon and Beer FestivalImage SpacerCary Directing Traffic at the 2016 British Car Show