April is National Volunteer Recognition Month. Volunteers are a special breed of people. They recognize a need and instead of wondering why no one is filling that need, they roll up their sleeves and instantly become that person. From the service organizational clubs to Little League coaches to performers who hit the Care Center circuit, volunteers are the one facet of our society that still gives us hope. Volunteers come in all shapes and sizes; some get involved with a group while others simply help out on an individual basis. So what exactly is a volunteer? Here is the best answer I've ever found is in Matthew's Gospel.
"The King said, The Kingdom is prepared for you. For I was hungry and you fed me; I was thirsty and you gave a drink;
I was a stranger and you invited me in; I needed clothes and you clothed me; I was sick and you helped me;
I was in prison and you visited me.
Then the people asked, When did we ever do this?
The King replied, 'I TELL YOU A TRUTH, WHEN YOU'VE HELPED OUT THE LEAST OF MY BROTHERS,
YOU DID TO ME."
Besides this great definition, I found several others:
No one really cares how much you know until they know how much you care.
A pessimist sees the glass as half empty; the optimist as half full; but the volunteer simply picks up the glass and looks around for someone who might be thirsty.
St. Francis of Assisi said, "Just one single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows."
Many wonderful ways of helping others out won't ever get done if you don't do them.
Don't ever question the value and work of the volunteer. Remember, volunteers built Noah's Ark while professionals built the Titanic.
A few weeks ago, I was talking to a lady and she remarked that her Pastor mentioned to the Congregation about visiting people in the Nursing Home. She approached the Pastor and he gave her a few names. She took that first step and visited with a lady there. Today, the two of them have a budding relationship and both are being blest.
There are millions of ways to volunteer-visit someone; rake a yard; buy someone stationery & stamped envelopes; call someone up; write that letter or send a "thinking of you" card. Take your talents to one of the Care Centers; offer to get groceries for someone; buy someone's lunch; join a civic organization; sign up to coach this summer; offer to help the coach out; send a little "thank you" note to you child's teacher. Ask your minister what needs to be done around the church; give someone a ride; find out who's in the hospital and visit them, call them or send them a card. The volunteerism list is practically endless and the rewards are the best you'll ever receive.
So KUDOS TO ALL YOU VOLUNTEERS! THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH.
That's the Way I See It. Let me know what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 319-334-6723. Have a superb week!