In 1996 I wrote an article titled “the value of volunteerism” it still holds true today.
Sometime ago in a letter to the Editor, a truly eloquent testament was made to volunteerism by someone who encouraged people to show support for a worthwhile cause.
Local organizations do need support and involvement to perpetuate what dedicated individuals have worked for and accomplished over the years. When you are a truly committed volunteer you take time from your wives, husbands and families. You postpone trips or vacations and all of your free time is dedicated to community problems and the pursuit of their solutions.
Also, you place the organization's needs above your own personal interests.
What these long-standing credible organizations do not need are individuals who get involved for the “wrong reasons,” such as personal or professional interests, self aggrandizement or the furthering of their own agendas or careers.
It is truly unfortunate that organizations needing to recruit new members often are blinded by these individuals that initially obscure their selfish-indulgent goals when they volunteer.
Volunteerism should be rewarded, but as a byproduct of volunteering, not as the reason for volunteering. The highest reward must be that you have improved your community and the satisfaction this brings with it.
So when you do volunteer, if you choose to do so, (and I hope you do choose to do so) do it for the right reasons. These reasons should be to make the organization stronger, to target and pursue the problems in a community and work to solve them with other members and fellow residents.
Maria A. Thomson