Tuesday, April 26, 2016
When I worked in a school I realized how essential volunteers are in that environment. We had volunteers who would come in and help with anything. One of them wrote a cute poem about that and at the end of year volunteer appreciation lunch he read it and one line struck all of us...."If you walk into a school and ask if you can do anything for them...Watch Out!!" The volunteers I had helping me in the library were a life saver for me. I still keep in touch with a couple of them. I had one grandma who came in and shelved books for years. When I left, so did she. I took that for a compliment.
Look around you. Who do you think cleans and decorates your churches for holidays? Who gives you a cookie and juice at the blood bank or wheels you to your car after a hospital stay or brings in a comforting pet or books? Who keeps your relative in a nursing home engaged? Who is at the Veteran Hospitals talking to our veterans, walking them, taking them to doctor appointments, out for a stroll in a park? Who are the Friends of the Library or companions at the Senior Centers. Who rocks the babies at the hospitals or reads to the children or walks them down the corridors or makes quilts and knits hats for the neo-natal darlings?
Who keeps the hiking paths clear and who picks up trash along the highways and who works tirelessly to organize and establish new parks and then maintains the pathways? Who paints the playground equipment at your child's school and plants flowers near the front door and maybe builds benches for the children to sit on?
Who writes the newsletters? Who helps out at the Salvation Army or Goodwill stores? Who are your docents at the museums and botanical gardens? Who teaches your children during their day camps? Who teaches your children during Sunday school? Who coaches your child's ball team? Who organizes your child's ball team? Who is your child's Scout leader or 4-H leader?
I am quite sure there are hundreds more examples because there isn't a segment of our society that isn't organized, run or manned by a volunteer, people who do for the love of doing and for the love of others. They couldn't do these massive tasks without loving it and the people they serve. I recently met a woman who, when she retired, said she was not going to learn how to drink coffee or play cards. She started a historical society for her tiny village and in her zeal for the village and its history found other like minded people. They eventually even bought a building to house their village's story.
If we didn't have volunteers we couldn't afford to live the lives we have. No organization could afford to pay the many someones who do what needs to be done. These jobs are done from the kindness of many hearts and cannot be bought. Our quality of life would not be what it is. So, next time you see someone walking along the highway, bending over to pick up a piece of paper or you see a notice in your church bulletin asking for help cleaning the church for Christmas or Easter, or a notice in the local newspaper from an organization asking for help, remember someone is going to do that job. It might as well be you.