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Volunteers Needed
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During my childhood, I learned the delights of volunteerism. My early recollections include being a teacher’s helper, and later as a helper in the school principal’s office during my last year in elementary grades. Those were appointed tasks, an honor to be asked because it meant that you were trustworthy. However, from those duties, I wanted to volunteer for other tasks. I knew that I’d learn skills through those experiences—and did.

In seventh grade, during WWII, I first heard the word “volunteer.” Before then I always heard the word helper. You were someone’s helper if you did something to help them and expected nothing in return. If you expected payment of some sort, money or barter, it was considered being a worker.

Volunteering became such a vital part of my life that I can’t imagine not doing it. I’ve enjoyed one volunteer job for 43 years: press writing for churches and church schools. There’s a joy in knowing that you can make someone else’s burdens lighter or supply a necessary talent free-of-charge, especially for needy folks among us or charitable organizations, churches, schools and such, in particular those that operate on shoe-string budgets.

Happiest People in the World

During my years as a journalist, I’ve interviewed many volunteers. They are probably the happiest people in the world. I’ve certainly never found a grumpy one. And just like the people out in the work force, volunteers comprise all sorts of abilities from garbage collectors to CEOs of cooperate enterprises. You know the saying, “If you need something done, ask a busy person.” That goes double for volunteers because most of them are super busy, even before taking on a volunteer’s job. They also provide some of the best fodder for human-interest stories. Most are perfect role models for others, especially the youth.

I recently read a quote by Isabella Elsey that I like. I read it on one of those daily calendar tear-off page cubes. It says, “You need to find where your talent spot is and volunteer there.” And usually by volunteering for a particular group or organization you know that is your talent spot. You’ll be readily productive because you have what it takes to do that singular service.

Volunteerism can also lead to employment or a career. That’s how I became a writer. I didn’t hold any intent of being a writer because I didn’t know there was a writer inside me. So you could hardly call my motives self-serving. Yet because I became involved in volunteerism with community officials, I was asked to do public relations on a volunteer basis. Writing for the press ensued, and a career launched. I feel God allowed me to serve him as a volunteer—and He still does.

Just as the famous Uncle Sam WWI and WWII posters invited army recruits, with “I WANT YOU,” volunteers are still needed every day. April is America’s National Volunteer Month. If you aren’t one yet, why not consider it? It’s one way to stay young—serving others.

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By Betty Kossick. Copyright © 2014 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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