Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What happened to volunteers?

And why is that such a bad word?  to volunteer.  To give of your time and energy with no expectation for compensation or reward.  To willingly give your time and talent.  That should be applauded.  Instead, it's become demeaning for some reason.

Why can't we commit to giving of ourselves to what is meaningful? to what is eternal? to what makes a difference?  to what has a lasting impact on our communities? our neighborhoods? our schools? our churches?

Why are we so unwilling to commit to serve or give our time in some meaningful way that WE DON'T BENEFIT?  to serve sacrificially?  Why do we just want to "dabble" in helping others when it's convenient and doesn't restrict our self-centered lifestyles?!

How about:
* visit a VA hospital
* help build houses
* elderly visits
* soccer coach asst
* deliver meals
* tutor or teach kids
* serve food
* Sunday School! :-)

There are so many non-profit opportunities out there just waiting for folks to commit to making a difference.  And they rely on volunteers.  Otherwise, it just can't happen.

Instead, we all say: it's inconvenient. or I'm too busy.  or I don't have enough time. or I'm tired.  or I give money that's my part.  or I'm out of town a lot.

I detest these "excuses". Really.

I think there is no excuse for us self-centered, lazy, consumeristic Americans.  We CAN commit.  It's just a matter of what we choose to commit our allotted 24 hours a day of time to.  We CAN commit - I see proof:

* on Facebook.  How many hours to we give to Facebook games?
* our TV addictions.  Lost anyone?  American Idol anyone?  CSI anyone?
* movies.  How many 2 hour movies do you watch a month?

I could go on and on.  I'm guilty too.  I don't seem to have any time for myself, let alone others.  I am lucky to get one work out a week these days.  I don't get enough sleep.  I am tired.

I just get so frustrated when I hear "I don't have time for that" and "I can't commit to that...it's too much" when really it isn't all that much and I truly believe IT MATTERS.  I just wish more folks agreed with me.


  1. Hi Meg,
    You listed very worthy causes to volunteer for. However, I am going to play devil's advocate for a minute . . . I have seen so much volunteering that is not beneficial. When I taught school I saw parents who were too busy to sit down and play a game with their kids but were the first to pass out hot lunch. Or to make sure their kids had the best homemade Halloween costumes. It's an easy trap to fall into. I know at one point I was in a volunteer positiion when my husband needed me to focus more time on providing for my family. I'm not saying volunteerism is bad but there is the temptation to do it for self-gratifying reasons. Right now I am in the place where I want opportunities to volunteer with my family instead of volunteer duties that call me away. The pressure of Volunteerism is relentless -- choose carefully!

  2. Thanks Kirsten - I appreciate your input and devotion to your family - it is honorable and right. I wish more were as dedicated as you!