Volunteers – Benefits Go Both Ways

Volunteering:  Giving Is Receiving The Special Olympics was truly a magnificent event.  There was an outpouring of involvement by participants.  […]

Volunteering:  Giving Is Receiving

The Special Olympics was truly a magnificent event.  There was an outpouring of involvement by participants.  And, there was an involvement by our community of which we can all be proud.

I’ve heard some stories about individual involvement . . . one in particular is about the corporate person “assigned” by his company to “volunteer”.  After reluctantly getting involved, he extended his shift by four hours.  He even called his secretary the next day to change his schedule to allow him to in fact, volunteer even more.  This is not an isolated story.

We all lead busy, full lives and wonder from time to time how another commitment could possibly be fit into our schedule.  Fitting in a one-time event like involvement in the Special Olympics is relatively easy to do.  The public relations people have been very good at getting the “word” out to us in the community about the need for volunteers.  After all, it is a worthy event and it is only a one-time opportunity in our area.

I would ask all of you to consider the volunteer needs that exist every day in our area.  The nursing home I work for has people who go for days, weeks, and, yes, even months without even a short visit from a family member or a friend.  There are a multitude of other volunteer positions that exist in nursing homes and within the health care industry at large.  Every church would willingly oblige those who stepped forward with time to volunteer.  Schools, community agencies abound with openings.  United Way’s Volunteer Action Center has hundreds of openings at any given time for a variety of positions in the community.

Consider, please, the everyday, ongoing needs in our community for volunteers.  Volunteers provide services that are immeasurably valuable to the recipients.  Schedule an hour or more a week, or schedule as little as an hour a month of your time.  Call and volunteer.  The choices are many.  Get involved.  You do make a difference.  The rewards are many . . . both for the giver and the receiver.  Please, do volunteer.

Linda Bradford is a volunteer coordinator for the University Health Care Center