Volunteering is something that has become very near and dear to my heart. I find it important not only because it helps those who are less fortunate than my family but because it helps make events possible that may not otherwise be possible.
I currently donate clothing to the local clothing bank, donate household items and time to a group that collects items to send to the Appalachian Mountain region in Tennessee, donate time to the local 4H group and donate time to my church's Sunday School program.
However it is hitting our community right now the need for volunteers to make local events happen. Every August we have a town celebration. A normal year includes rides, games, a flea market, local dance groups performing, food vendors, a rodeo, a classic car show, a beer garden, and, of course, a parade. The festivities start Thursday night with a teen dance and end up Sunday afternoon.
This year most of the council has retired from the committee because they are getting older and want to hand it off to the younger generation, my generation. However at this time they only have a handful of people who have volunteered. A handful. And so it is moving from the local county fair grounds to main street and will only be for one day.
My husband heard about this and started complaining. Saying it wouldn't be the same, wouldn't be as good, what were they thinking, why change.
I would like to insert here that my husband, who I love very very much, doesn't volunteer at all. Even when he goes to the 4H meetings with me, he hangs out with other dads and ignores the 4H meeting.
I asked if he was going to volunteer for the committee for next year to help fix it. This is a totally reasonable question since he is so upset about it. He looked at me like I had lost my mind and said no.
Sadly this is a common response from my generation. We feel entitled to having all the things we have always had, never realizing how much work our parents went through to make it possible for us. And when we do realize, so many feel like someone else should take it over, we don't have time, we have too much else going on in our lives.
I looked up the statistics on volunteering. In 2011, 26.8% of Americans volunteered in some way. 29.3% of women volunteered and 22.9% of men. The ages showed that people aged 35-54 were the most likely to volunteer (30%) where people aged 16-24 were the least at 20.8%. Married couples voluteered more than their single counterparts, as did parents compared to people without children. *Information from Bureau of Labor Statistics
If we would all take the time to help our communities at the very least, our world could be so much better. If every one of us took the time to volunteer in some capacity within our community, the load would be less for each of us, maybe even leaving time and resources to help communities around the world.
When I think about volunteering one verse speaks louder to me than any other. I think about Acts 20:35 "In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we
must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he
himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” This is a greater reason than any other to volunteer our time, gifts, and assets. Because God has told us that we need to.
What verses speak to you about volunteering? What do you do within your community to make it a better place?