This is Volunteer Month. Originally set aside as a singular week, the opportunity to think about the vital role volunteerism plays in successful societies was established by American President Richard Nixon. Then in 1991, the entire month was set aside to recognize and inspire people to seek out imaginative ways to engage in their communities as part of George H.W. Bush’s 1,000 Points of Light campaign.
Well articulated by the National Day Calendar, “Volunteers come in all shapes and sizes. They pick a cause and make a difference in someone’s life. Sometimes the difference a drop in the bucket. Other times it creates a tidal wave of change. From the anonymous volunteers who donate their resources to those whose efforts are part of larger national organizations like 4-H, Boy and Girl Scouts of America, or American Red Cross or a local grassroots group, their missions provide valuable support to communities in times of need.” *
It’s a fact that many organizations could not even exist without volunteers. These include hospitals, soup kitchens, non-profits working to improve individual and corporate lives, neighborhood associations, relief and development organizations, and many, many more groups.
Volunteers are the most valuable resource many communities and international non-profits have.
Volunteerism is good for everyone. It helps people in need, builds community and improves the lives of real people.
It also helps those who volunteer.
It’s a great way to get your eyes off yourself and your problems, help you have unique experiences, build new friendships (and social skills), and gives you the satisfaction and fulfillment from doing something that matters. It can strengthen self-esteem and self-confidence, combat depression, and help you be physically fit.
The truth is, THE WORLD NEEDS YOU. SO DOES YOUR NEIGHBOR AND YOUR COMMUNITY.
Think you’re too busy? Think again.
Don’t know where to start? There are multiple organizations in your area looking for help. There are thousands of websites with ideas on how to get started.
There are probably millions of possibilities, from folding newsletters to babysitting to building houses to delivering meals.
As retired surgeon Ben Carson said, “Happiness doesn’t result from what we get, but from what we give.”