“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” – Martin Luther King Jr.
Today, our nation observes and celebrates Martin Luther King Jr., his life and accomplishments. As one of many ways of doing this, each year, Americans across the country answer that infamous question of his by coming together on the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday to serve their neighbors and communities through volunteering and service projects. I decided to rehash a previous blog post on volunteering to share today.
Volunteers are the backbone of organizations and events throughout society. Who hasn’t signed up for a creek clean up day, soup kitchen, building project or more? Sure, some people volunteer a few times a year, others volunteer like it’s their job. And while I usually smirk at these do-gooders, the truth is that I wish I was more like them. I’d love to volunteer about a gazillion percent more than I do, and I want my kids to grow up volunteering throughout their lives, begin part of a movement to progress.
There is such a range of volunteering too, that there HAS to be some area we all fit into with our abilities and personalities. Whether it is helping at a race event, vacuuming a church, tutoring kids, a community garden, walking a dog, fighting fires, or a mission trip, volunteer opportunities abound locally and elsewhere. I’ve seen firsthand the impact a couple dozen people and a few hours can make on the lives of people who are hurting. I’ve felt first hand the love these actions carry. Giving our time for something bigger than our needs gives hope. For me, helping out at whatever occasion comes up is a good reality check and a reminder that life isn’t just about my needs, troubles and wants. Sometimes the circumstances are eye-opening, or life altering, like a mission trip or being part of relief efforts after a natural disaster.
Whatever the motivation, whatever the cause, whatever the reasons for helping, volunteers are just plain cool. We don’t all have to believe the same thing or think the same way to have an enormous impact together. Imagine a life without volunteers. What would happen at our churches, libraries, volunteer fire departments, schools and parks if the volunteers didn’t show up??!! Who would help those that need extra love and care above and beyond the paid-position sector if not for volunteers? I don’t think we want to know.
So, if you have ever volunteered, or if you are going to volunteer…thank you. You rock.