It Feels Good to Do Good Together: Why Service Work Works at Dragonfly Transitions

Dragonfly believes in the mission and responsibility to not only serve our clients and families but to also have a positive and intentional impact on our local communities. Over the years, we have implemented volunteer work in the community and internationally. The Ashland campus has incorporated more service opportunities that continue to build the connection in the community. It continues to bring joy for our students and the Dragonfly team. Eric Janoksi, Program Director on the Ashland campus offered his perspective of the importance of service work:

To foster good stewardship among our students it is important to lead by example. Dragonfly maintains a deep respect for human beings, animals, and nature inside and outside of our company and for the communities in which we live. Dragonfly Transitions strives to exemplify the values of kindness, compassion, and respect for everyone. Our core values build loyalty and that loyalty leads to the best possible service for our families and students.

Since August 2021, our staff and students have spent over 150 hours volunteering at a local outdoor community meal and pantry located in Lithia Park. We have served over 1,800 individuals over the last year who are currently facing houselessness and food scarcity in Jackson County, Oregon. These 1,800 individuals have not only been served nutrient-dense and good-tasting foods but have also benefited from being seen, cared for, and communicated to in a judgment-free manner. By engaging in direct action with our local community we have not only elevated their lives but have also elevated the lives of our students and employees. The act of service has strengthened not only our greater community but we have also seen a marked change in our staff culture as well as in our therapeutic relationships with clients. It is regularly regarded as the highlight of everyone’s weeks. It feels good to do good together. Over the last few terms, we have added in a Healthy Cooking Group for Community Meal which is students led and organized that involves taking requests and cooking or baking dishes to serve at the weekly community meal.

In the Spring of 2022, we adopted North Mountain Park in Ashland, Oregon. We have committed to hosting 4 Trail Day Clean Parties with Students and Staff as Saturday Activities over the next 4 years. We have also added 2 weekly volunteer groups that meet for 3 hours on Wednesday and Thursday mornings to work on gardening and trail maintenance at North Mountain Park.

Our students and staff in Ashland have also organized a small clean-up crew, affectionately known as the “Litter Critters”. The “Litter Critters” walk the sidewalks in Ashland and use dustpans to gather litter in our neighborhood.

Volunteering is Awesome! It builds community and connection, is good for body, mind, and soul, offers vocational training, and is fun and fulfilling.

If you are interested in developing your own service-centered activity, see the short blue print below.


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Karlie Clem

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