• Volunteerism

Guy W. Midkiff

Volunteerism is the willingness of people to work on behalf of others without the expectation of pay or other tangible gain. Volunteers may have special training as rescuers, guides, assistants, teachers, missionaries, amateur radio operators, writers, and in other positions. But the majority work on an impromptu basis, recognizing a need and filling it, whether it be the dramatic search for a lost child or the mundane giving of directions to a lost visitor.

In economics, voluntary employment is unpaid employment. It may be done for altruistic reasons, for example charity, as a hobby, community service or vocation, or for the purpose of gaining experience. Some go so far as to dedicate much of their lives to voluntary service. One way in which this is done is through the creation of a Non-Profit Franchise.

All of this came to mind, this morning, when my wife and I did our weekly 1/2 day volunteer service at Washington West Elementary. I had noticed a very polite lady who seemed to be always at the school and I assumed that she was a full time employee. I was having a particular problem with a project and asked her from some advice. During the course of the conversation, we got to talking about volunteer work and how rewarding it was to help others. I was floored when she told me that she put in 30 hours per week at the school. She went on to say how fulfilled the work left her and how much harmony it brought to her life.

I wished I could capture that spirit, bottle it, and hand it out to others. People like Mrs. “R” are at the heart of what makes the Washington community so special. In the immortal words of John F. Kennedy, “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” Some good advice to live by.

Published in: on February 28, 2008 at 4:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

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