Volunteering and Service: Making it Personal with Pegge Erkeneff

How do you invest your time towards the needs and concerns that capture your attention, or heart of care? Is it possible you have the specific talent or rising empathy that might be exactly what someone else needs? Have you pondered the differences between making a financial donation, volunteering your time, or even advocating on a policy level? 

Service and volunteering are powerful agents for healing, connecting, and transformation. In this workshop, Momentum member Pegge Erkeneff leads a discussion on volunteering, service, and ways we can be present to others. Together we’ll explore questions like, what problems can you solve? What need or gap in your community grabs your attention? 

More about Pegge

Pegge is an author, spiritual guide, editor and retreat leader who believes our service, presence, and volunteering can be a gift not only to others but to ourselves. Through her work in soup kitchens, hospice centers, citizen advisory boards, community events, political advocacy, and suicide awareness, Pegge has discovered a richness in life through service and volunteering, all while living a full, demanding life. Pegge is the author of Your Spiritual Garden: Tending to the Presence of God and God Any Time Any Place: The Many Ways College Students Pray. 

Listen: Volunteering and Service: Making it Personal


  • Busting through the barriers of who is serving whom
  • A better question for today’s young people: what problem in the world do you want to solve? Is it necessary? 
  • Service and volunteering: what does it mean? Being present, listening, writing a check, fundraising, advocacy.
  • Finding the intersection: what's my greatest gift + what’s my hunger to serve?
  • On listening: it’s about receptivity, not problem-solving. It’s our presence—who we are and how we show up.
  • “The biggest surprise for me is what I’m receiving when I think that I’m giving. I generally get a gift back that reminds me there’s so much beauty in the world.”
  • Two paths to spiritual growth: suffering and service
  • “Because I have a heart of care and compassion, there’s a responsibility. True self-actualization is standing with others and collaboration and being a change agent in the world for something that really grabs my heart—that’s important and that I care about—that will serve others.”
  • Choosing what to do based on what’s best, not what’s good
  • Saying no: the more I have in energy, the more I’m giving in the world. It’s not to say we shouldn’t show up in tough situations, but we can’t do that day in and day out all of the time. Saying, “We can’t give what we don’t have” and “There’s not time to do good stuff, there’s only time to do what’s best.”
  • “Hope for me is now being able to be in the darkness without hope. Sitting in dark places with somebody or with myself when I’m broken and shredded because of what’s happened or what I see in the world—not having answers and sitting in the dark—then suddenly realizing you’re not alone there.”
  • “One beating heart actually becomes hope, even if it’s completely in the dark. Simply because I’m here and I’m breathing and I care. Befriend that even in myself and feel it in my body and make friends with that, even for ten seconds. That’s being compassionately kind and of service to myself.”
  • Isaiah 40:31: "but those who hope in the Lord / will renew their strength. / They will soar on wings like eagles; / they will run and not grow weary, / they will walk and not be faint.
  • Volunteer with what I know, not what I think I should do. 
  • “What we take for granted that everyone else knows is the gift that we have”
  • What’s an image or sound rising in you from this conversation?