Saturday, July 05, 2003

The importance of volunteering

I volunteer because I learned from the example of my family and neighbors. My parents both volunteered at church and at school. They helped when their friends needed help. They were both active in the political process.

My grandmother, born in 1910, and who raised three children in the Depression once told me, “You always try to help those in need, because you don’t know if next week you’re going to be the one in need.” When my father passed away, thirty years ago today my brothers and I were the recipients of the efforts many hours of volunteerism from our friends and family.

My neighbors participated in the Lions, and the Boy Scouts. My principal and pediatrician were both Rotarians. The community I was raised in exemplified the example put forth by de Tocqueville in “Democracy in America” they were all individuals who took responsibility for the health and integrity society.

People often speak of their rights as citizens, but not often about their responsibilities. Volunteering in the community is the responsibility of a citizen. I volunteer because I find it more satisfying to work to build my community than to complain about its problems. I volunteer because I enjoy making a difference. I volunteer because it helps me to learn and to grow.

I volunteer because I want to teach my children, by example, the values I was taught as a child.


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