DeVonte Harpool recalls meeting a pregnant woman while volunteering, saying she’d told him she was looking for a sign that everything would be ok, and that his service answered her call. That uplifting moment sat with the 28-year-old Indianapolis, Indiana, resident, because it was then that he recognized there would always be someone out there with needs or wants.
Volunteering with HOPE Worldwide Indianapolis for the past five years, DeVonte and his 25-year-old wife, Diana, have connected with thousands across Indianapolis and more recently, boosted their service to address serious need during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through volunteerism, DeVonte and Diana are bringing hope to hurting communities, helping children and families in their city.
What inspires you to volunteer?
DeVonte: Impact is more than just materialistic items. The impact you make on someone’s life can be prayer or words of encouragement. I’m inspired to volunteer to be a light in a dark world.
Describe your volunteerism with HOPE Worldwide Indianapolis.
As chapter directors, we implement new processes and programs, build partnerships and collaborate with other organizations and vendors. We also work on budgeting, recruit advisor members and volunteer at events.
Share one personal story from your volunteerism.
DeVonte: I dreamed about doing a drive-thru food pantry right before the pandemic hit. Ours slowly came together, with the assistance of a few other volunteers and several grants. It started as a monthly community drive-thru pantry, and we expanded from there, to offering the service bi-weekly. We help hundreds of our neighbors. There may be a parent who needs diapers, and they’ll express so much gratitude, sometimes they cry. I have a soft heart, and it’s very impactful to feel the emotional experience and to help people in that way.
Why do you think it’s important for others to give back?
Diana: Not everybody is in a good situation. Giving back to the community is rewarding in itself, and volunteering allows you the ability to help anybody that needs the help.
What’s been the most rewarding part of your service?
DeVonte: I tie volunteerism back to the heart and sacrifice. When I think of helping someone, and that emotional connection, it encourages me to serve more and be a light to someone else.
What do you want people to learn from your story?
Diana: You really don’t know what someone is going through on a day-to-day basis. They could be going through some of the toughest times of their lives. Giving back, whether financially or just being there for someone, could really make a big impact. Volunteerism helps others and helps you grow as a person as well.
In one word, what does volunteering mean to you?
Diana: Just one word? (laughs). Love. Just sharing love.
How can readers help?
Do you want to make a difference in your community like DeVonte and Diana Harpool? Find local volunteer opportunities.