Thursday, June 10, 2010

What it means to be a "volunteer"

"Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation's compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain love for one another." -Erma Bombeck

Sometimes I think people get confused as to what the true meaning of being a volunteer actually is. To clear up any misunderstandings I've decided to write this post about the true meaning of being a "volunteer" enjoy the quotes, definitions, and my thoughts:

vol·un·teer[vol-uhn-teer] –noun
1. a person who voluntarily offers himself or herself for a service or undertaking.
2. a person who performs a service willingly and without pay.
Taken from Dictionary.com
 
"Every problem that the country faces is being solved in some community by some group or some individual. The question is how to get connected so that the whole nation can solve problems.
 
A volunteer is a person who can see what others cannot see; who can feel what most do not feel. Often, such gifted persons do not think of themselves as volunteers, but as citizens - citizens in the fullest sense; partners in civilization." -George H. W. Bush
 
In my family's "line of work" we depend a lot, not all, but a lot on the kindness of volunteers. We often sit back and think about past volunteers, and by their actions we truly know who was in it FOR the cause and who had their own self interest first. Volunteers that are in it FOR the cause are always there, ready to help, they do not complain about a job needing done, they work their hardest to get the job done. I know that when I have been a part of volunteer efforts where the volunteers are in it FOR the cause it is always fun and you create a kind of bond with them. Its like you are connected through the good that you achieved or through the same goal or mission. Those people stay with you forever, they may have a life change that makes them leave the cause, but they are always with you in heart and spirit. I always think back and remember a group of college girls that was with us for a good while, we were a "team", we felt invincible against anything the world could throw at the cause, there wasn't a problem or situation that we weren't ready for and we knew we could count on each other to be there and get through it... not for us, but FOR the cause. Our hearts were in it for the right reason, not to make outselves feel better about ourselves, not to make people like us, not so that we could pat each other on the back, not to get something from it, but to really make a difference. I often miss my "team" and think of them often, I haven't had that in a long time. A "team" that I could count on, to be there if we needed them, that we could call at midnight about a situation that needed tended to at 6:00AM... a "team" that knew their roles and acted effectively with integrity and with drive and passion. I miss that. I don't want to replace my "team" I want to expand on it, to add members to the "team"... because you never really loose "team" members, it just seems like they are put on hold or frozen in time.
 
Its sad when you have a "volunteer or group of volunteers that isn't in it FOR the cause. It makes everything less fun and its hard to really trust them. Its sad. Sometimes I want to just pluck them up and shake them saying "Hello, you, in there, wake up, I know you are in there for the right reason, come out come out where ever you are!" I don't know what has happened to our society to make people think that they are owed the world when they decided they want to "help" or "volunteer"... where does that come from? That isn't volunteering! No one OWES you anything! It makes absolutly no sense to me. They think they are owed privledges, or status, or admiration, or something and it just ruins the whole concept of being a volunteer and trying to work together towards a common good. It just ERKS me! And this is exactly what I've been encountering lately and I just don't understand it...
 
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." -Edmund Burke, British statesman and orator

Quotes taken from Alpena Volunteer Center Thank you, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your compilation of quotes about volunteering!

Thank you for your time dear followers and I hope you enjoyed the post!
Kelsey

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...