The year I turned 40, I began to examine my life. By that time, we had celebrated 22 years of marriage, and I had been a stay-at-home Mom for about 18 years and counting, and I was feeling like I hadn’t done anything of great significance with my life.
So I began to search for a way to fill the void which I felt was present in my life.
God led me to an opportunity to volunteer at a place in our small community which served people during times of crisis. It was, and still is, an amazing organization. During the seven years in which I was involved, I learned many new skills, grew as a Christ-follower, and just as a human being. The education I received in this field taught me how to see people in a different, better perspective, with less judgement and more kindness and compassion.
I became involved to make a difference in some way, to someone, and I left feeling that, as much as I may have contributed to that, I received so much in return.
My more recent volunteer position has allowed me to gain more work skills and a sense of belonging to my small community. This organization helps those in need through a food bank & thrift store. It was more of a behind-the-scenes role in providing services to the community.
I say all this because I want to encourage others to get out there and volunteer.
It’s a way to give back, to contribute to something bigger than ourselves, and to take a break from the day-to-day busy-ness of life which seems to cause the days to all blur together in a rush. Giving away a small part of our own existence to benefit another human being adds lasting value and meaning to life.
As a former volunteer coordinator, here are some important things to consider:
- Many non-profit organizations, especially those which receive no federal or state support, can only function because of their dedicated, reliable volunteers!
- If you only have 2-3 hours per week or even per month to give, it is valuable.
- No matter the amount of time one has to volunteer, it is important to be consistent and dependable.
- Volunteers learn valuable work skills which can be beneficial in future employment.
- Every community has opportunities to volunteer: schools, local food banks, non-profit thrift stores and organizations, parks & recreation departments, the possibilities are many.
Studies have shown that volunteering not only benefits those who are served, but also those who volunteer.
To learn more about it, and lots of other information about volunteering, here is a link:
There are many in the world dying for a piece of bread, but there are many more dying for a little love.
– Mother Teresa