Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they’re worthless, but because they’re priceless. Sherry Anderson, author
April 19-25 is National Volunteer Week in the USA and Canada. Volunteerism has always been an integral part of society. Today, amid an international crisis, we are seeing a resurgence of volunteerism even as we stay safe at home.
Here are just a few priceless acts I’ve witnessed recently: It seems that everyone with a sewing machine is making masks, people are calling friends and strangers to check on their well-being, healthcare workers are voluntarily going to areas in crisis, perfect strangers are finding ways to help the young and elderly celebrate milestone birthdays, teachers are going the extra mile for their stay-at-home students, and food is being distributed on a massive scale to the hungry who have lost their incomes. I could go on and on…let’s celebrate volunteers everywhere!
Affirmation: I honor volunteers.
Coaching questions: How have you found meaning in volunteering? What’s something you can do this week to make a difference in the life of another?
Photo by Dakota Corbin on Unsplash
One thought on “Be A Priceless Volunteer”
Volunteering has changed my life. For several decades I have been involved in all sorts of volunteer work but since the late 1990’s I have served at a homeless shelter on Chicago’s west side. It is a unique place that provides a place to heal and restore dignity to homeless men and women upon hospital release. Some are recovering from illness, injury and issued related to substance abuse. Many are veterans. All have become amazing teachers to me and taught me so very much over the past 20 plus years. I have learned that no one chooses to be homeless and that challenging circumstances often result in people ending up without a home. Mental illness, PTSD (often in the case of our veterans), domestic violence, child abuse, lack of medical insurance and unemployment among others. I have learned that the homeless do not choose to be homeless and that it is nothing more than circumstances that have resulted in my never exerperiencing this challenge first-hand.
I have met homeless men and women with advanced degrees, former corporate executives, those who play classical piano, ministers, nurses, moms, dads, brothers and sisters. I have heard gut wrenching stories of the underlying causes of the difficult situations many people find themselves in as they try to survive on our streets. I have had the pleasure of numbering among my friends a former homeless woman who lived the bulk of her life on the streets – her self-esteem being robbed of her as a four year old repeatedly raped by her mother’s boyfriend.
I am so grateful for my volunteer experience – it has taught me much and most importantly to recognize men and women who are homeless as individuals whom we should embrace and whose lived experiences have resulted in their dealing with issues that I have been blessed to escape.
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