Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Sights & Sounds

Volunteering is a form of community service and can be best described as “Paying it forward” with your time, services or financially. It is an essential part of our daily lives.

In the earlier centuries, women were the crux of the volunteer forces. In the past a women’s role was to take care of the household. With many there was a lot of downtime. There was an urgency for volunteers. There were the World Wars, disasters and simply the sick and poor who had nothing or anyone to help them. At that same time period it was the man’s role to support the household financially. When the wars broke out, men volunteered for the armed forces to help fight for freedom.

There are many ways a person can get involved. Think about our volunteer fire departments, not only do the men and women help put out fires they answer calls for many other emergencies especially their ambulance services. The role they play in the community is vital and saves lives while they put their lives in danger many times. Why does someone become a volunteer for their local fire department? It gives a person an s sense of community spirit, pride to be a part of a group of other caring individuals and gratification to know they have helped someone.

Our Armed forces depend on volunteers to help keep our country safe and to provide safety and freedom the world over. Of course being a volunteer can provide a myriad of benefits. When you become part of the Armed forces a person gains skills and training as well as getting a strong education and travel.

There are so many civic organizations around the country and the world. Groups such as Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis, elks & Moose Lodges, VFW Halls SERTOMA and many others. Civic organizations were built upon the premise of helping humankind. Like any organization there is the commonality of camaraderie and gratification of doing service in the community.

Not for Profit organizations are the core where most people volunteer their time and resources. Charitable organizations provide financial assistance, research, or services of enormous magnitude. Once again, people get involved for a variety of reasons sometimes simply to fill a void in their own lives as they feel there is enough time on their hands and they can help others less fortunate. Sometimes it’s a person who has been a recipient of help from an organization or individual and that person also chooses to “pay it forward” to someone else.

Volunteers come in all shapes and sizes. They get involved in a special event, collecting food or money. They participate in an event to help facilitate the many chores which helps the event run smoothly.. A volunteer has many skills and utilize their abilities to make a difference to the organization they become involved in.

Paying it forward simply means when it’s given you give it to someone else rather then give something back to the source it came from. There is nothing wrong with paying it back; it’s rather nice to just pass along the goodness to another needy person.

It doesn’t’ matter if a person is differently abled or not. It’s a sense of accomplishment especially when you are involved in a cause that you are passionate about. Perhaps it may be an organization which provides a service you benefitted from or does research to find a cure for a disease you or someone you know is afflicted by. Whatever the case, just do it for the reason that is most meaningful to you. It’s not about what you receive, but rather what everyone gains as a whole. Volunteering is about giving, if you give of yourself with no expectations the returns will come on their own.

Get involved today, Make a difference to someone else. do something. It’s a great way to meet people and build relationships with others who care!

Respectfully submitted

Mitchel Shapiro

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