Volunteering offers a wide range of benefits, from improved health and career prospects to lifelong friendships. For some, those friendships with fellow volunteers spark romantic partnerships.
For two Activate Good volunteers, it became “a good place to move from friendship to relationship,” says Audra Lindsley.
In the summer of 2013, Audra was already volunteering with Activate Good when she met her neighbor, Brad Lindsley, due to a water leak in her condo. They started hanging out regularly, and it wasn’t long before they discovered a shared passion for volunteering. Audra invited Brad to accompany her on a project, and they soon began volunteering together–either at the men’s shelter serving meals or at Lake Jordan picking up a trash–and often they’d have dinner together after their project. After a year of friendship, they started dating. Then, this past Christmas, they got engaged, and back in April, they were married.
For Audra and Brad, volunteering added another way to get to know each other beyond traditional dates.
“You get to know a lot about somebody when they volunteer, how they interact, what kind of person they are, what they think of how they should treat other people, what are they willing to do, how helpful are they,” says Audra.
“And how confident they are when they’re wearing a hairnet,” adds Brad, with a laugh.
Both believe in giving back to their community–and in having a lot of fun while doing it, too. “It’s something we did together not just to get to know each other, but because we enjoyed it. It’s something we definitely want to continue to make time for in our lives,” says Audra.
And they haven’t just gotten to know each other; both Brad and Audra agree that they’ve met wonderful people through volunteering with Activate Good. They’ve even gotten to know each other’s families better through volunteering, as they’ve each invited family members to join them on multiple volunteer projects.
As relationships, and especially engagements, can get busy, another thing that Audra and Brad love about volunteering is the flexibility, especially when participating through Activate Good’s Triangle Do-Gooders on MeetUp. “One nice thing about Activate Good, you can do it for a little bit and then when you get super busy, you can pull back,” says Audra.
When asked what volunteering has taught them about relationships, Brad says, “If you give of yourself it makes everything better. And that applies to a marriage, too.”
That giving spirit seems to be a theme in their lives and their relationship. When they had a huge sheet of leftover cake at their wedding reception, they called the men’s shelter to ask if they could donate it. To their delight, the shelter accepted. “We felt really good about that,” says Audra.
For the Lindsleys, volunteering has been part of each step of their relationship. If you want to experience all the perks of volunteering — like helping your community, meeting new friends, and who knows, maybe even finding love — learn more at www.activategood.org, or browse opportunities here.