What is a Volunteer?

You must be the change you wish to see in the world

Mahatma Ghandi

Are you overwhelmed by the breadth of poverty, sickness and despair in the world? Do you wish you were rich and could help people in need? What if we told you, you can change the state of the world without spending a dime? How? By volunteering – and while it’s good to give money to a worthy cause, it’s even better to give of yourself.

what-is-a-volunteer

But although volunteering is the right thing to do, it isn’t always the easy thing. We’re busy people; we’re penciling in appointments and running our kids to soccer practice. We have commitments and responsibilities, and frankly, when you look at the newspaper headlines with their litany of rising crime rates, ecological disasters, and political corruption, it’s easy to believe there’s nothing we can do.

Maybe helping our fellow man is just an outdated ideal; maybe it is every man for himself these days. Maybe, but I tend to think not. Once you get past the headlines you come to the real stories, the quieter tales of how real people live their lives. As we browse through this part of the paper, we see stories of a different kind . . .

One tells of brilliant young woman who chooses to postpone her college education in order to work with orphans in a third world country. Another, spotlights a senior citizen who spends her waking hours collecting shoes and toys for a local shelter. In this paper we read of soldiers who tear themselves from home and loved ones in order to serve their country, of people who build homes for the homeless, bring hot meals to the elderly, and take medical relief to impoverished villages. Other volunteers help the handicapped, shelter abused women and children, and shovel mud out of strangers homes after a natural disaster.

We admire people like this – people who do the right thing even when it isn’t easy or convenient; who show up even when it brings them little glory or recognition. They have that in quirk their character, that desire to make the world a little better. And while many hope to someday be like this, we are grateful for those who already are.
With your time, your talents, your compassion and ingenuity you can change your corner of the world while other volunteers set about changing theirs. You don’t have to do anything earthshaking or spend lots of money, simply be there with an open mind and open heart.

A quote by Elizabeth Andrews says, “Volunteers don’t necessarily have the time, they just have the heart”. If you can improve the quality of just one person’s life, you have changed the world. If everyone did this the world would change a lot.

Volunteer and spread the good news!


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