Celebrate National Volunteer Week: Yeah, I'm Talking To You! {April 15 to 21}

"No ONE can do everything, but EVERYONE can do something." Author Unknown
National Volunteer Week ~ April 15 to 21, 2012
Courtesy: adferoafferro.wordpress.com

Are you a volunteer? Do know any volunteers?  Chances are you pass by a dozen volunteers everyday without knowing it.  Most of my work, since the age of 15 years old, has been with non-profit and charitable organizations.  I have volunteered many hours over the years and also been promoted to part-time and full-time work as a result of being a volunteer.  Please don't think I'm writing this to boast, I just want to share how deeply volunteerism has impacted my life.  The care and compassion shown to me and my family (by people who didn't have to do anything at all) left me with a profound feeling of gratitude and the desire to pay it forward.

I have to admit that sometimes it's easier to sit back and see whats wrong with our neighborhood and community, then to try and come up with solutions.  When I'm tired and frustrated I become a grumbler. Focusing on what I already HAVE, opposed to what I WANT, can get me back on track.  Getting out and spending time in my local community center is also a good way to get my head on straight.  Have you ever looked into the eyes of a parent who can't feed their kids or buy them new shoes when their soles have been worn down?  I have encountered "unmanageable" children that merely needed food in their belly and a quiet place to rest apart from their chaotic home life.  We all need a good eye opener and a shake into reality once in a while.  I'm not saying you need to empty your pockets to every group that comes knocking on your door.  Our communities are built on much more than $$$$$.  Our playgrounds, food banks, churches, libraries, search and rescue, and support groups are built on the backs of volunteers.  The spirit of philanthropy and volunteerism is somewhat intertwined in my mind and it's hard to dissect them into separate entities.

Definition of PHILANTHROPY
: goodwill to fellow members of the human race; especially
:active effort to promote human welfare
: an act or gift done or made for humanitarian purposes

Definition of VOLUNTEER
: a person who voluntarily undertakes or expresses a willingness to undertake a service
: one who renders a service or takes part in a transaction while having no legal concern or interest
: one who receives a conveyance or transfer of property without giving valuable consideration

I'd like to take the chance to acknowledge all the volunteers that make life better for the people in my community.  Food banks, churches, support groups, recreation programs, sports teams, fire and rescue teams, community television, and many more unnamed selfless souls. Thank you all for the hard work you invest into building our community while the rest of us sit back and grumble.

Definitions taken from www.merriam-webster.com


Anonymous said…
Very well said


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