The Importance of Volunteering. It's your opportunity to make a difference.
There are so many worthy reasons for volunteering, yet weigh the number of volunteers against how many are needed and I suspect there's a serious unbalance.
People are too busy, too tired, don't have the time, don't want to get involved, don't want to just don't want to volunteer, to help.
As an example, consider the local library in a small town, maybe in a depressed area. There are funds to pay only one full time librarian who can't possibly keep up with everything: checking books in and out, assisting the public, paperwork, stocking books, opening and closing the building and seeing to its many needs, and the myriad other tasks librarians attend to. In such a case, volunteers are desperately needed so the library can be kept open.
Teenagers and college age students may very well be able to earn school credits for volunteering in the library a few hours a week. Adults with children can help the librarian while their children read, and assistance from retired seniors with extra time is invaluable.
The goal is to keep the library open. The library is a place to study and learn, to get lost in the written word, to find solitude in the world of books. The open doors may keep one child off the street and out of trouble, provide a stressed out Mom with some quiet time to indulge in a good book, give a lonely senior someplace to go. Volunteers are critical in these situations. They can make a difference.
I've been volunteering for several years now, and will continue to do so for as long as I'm able. I have a family and a full time job, and am probably busier than most people, but I make the time to volunteer, to give back to my community and what I get in return is so much more than I give a wonderful feel good high knowing I've made a difference.
I urge you to consider volunteering. I challenge you to give a couple hours of your time once a week at your convenience. Tuesday afternoon? Thursday night? Saturday morning? Sunday?
Where? The possibilities are endless; nearly every organization welcomes volunteers, helping hands, fresh faces, new ideas. You choose. An animal shelter, a hospital, a nursing home, a church, a library, a recycling center, a school, a community center, daycare centers for children or adults, zoos, museums. How about Make-A-Wish Foundation or Make A Difference Day?
What about the Red Cross? When disaster strikes (earthquakes, fires, floods, blizzards, hurricanes, etc.) volunteers are needed for everything from search and rescue, to the distribution of food and water, clothing, bedding, toiletries. Do you ever wonder why such events are called Acts of God? Sometimes I think it's His way of bringing people together because the best is brought out in us all during times of crisis. It's our opportunity to make a difference.
The list of volunteer opportunities goes on and on, but try the links below for even more suggestions.
These sites, and others, will help you find volunteer opportunities in your area, poll your interests and match you to the best available opportunity. Some organizations will even train you for various volunteer positions.
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Start by taking a few minutes to learn about volunteering. Go ahead. Volunteer your time, your talents, your helping hands.
Make the difference.