Tribute to Volunteers

As I mentioned earlier this week, I’m putting together a list of 30 things I appreciate about my hubby in honour of our upcoming anniversary.

Each summer he takes one of his vacation weeks and participates in the day camp run by our church. He also plays a key role in the mid-week children’s program fall to spring.

He, of course, is not the only volunteer I know firsthand.

Last night I met with a group of three busy women, who, among other things, organize and oversee Jubilation Station and Sunday School. With their bulging schedules, I can’t help but be impressed with the time and energy they expend.

Of course, because I am an active member of our church – and temporarily on staff covering for our Church Administrator while she’s on maternity leave – I see what people do around here. Many of them come and go without drawing attention to themselves, a trait I greatly admire.

There are, of course, many other volunteer opportunities in any given community. We are a city of almost 38,000, relatively small. Even so, there are volunteer postings listed under several categories: Animals, Arts and Culture, Children and Youth, Community and Family Services including the United Way and the YMCA, Environment, History, Rescue and Adoption of animals, and Women.

In larger centres, I’m sure there are many more places to work for the betterment of the community. A quick Internet search may serve to inspire you.

And beyond volunteering yourself, it’s a wonderful thing to do with your spouse, your family, a group of friends, whomever. Where I live, high school students have to put in a minimum of 40 community service hours to qualify for graduation. Over four years, that is most doable. And setting an example for them – rather than sending them out to fulfill their obligation – increases the possibility that they will stick with it even when they don’t have to.

You don’t have to volunteer with an organization or make a commitment you just can’t honour. Just doing something nice for someone every now and then qualifies. Doing it for someone who is facing challenges and doing it without expecting recognition or repayment of any kind does a heart good.

Where do you – or where would you like to – volunteer?

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