What does a volunteer gain from giving?
It is often said that it is more blessed to give than to receive. People who truly give of themselves understand this to be true although we live in a culture where often times, it is the exception to the rule. Most people tune out when they hear the word giving. They feel that somebody wants something from them and that they are obliged to give. Many times, people think giving is in relation to finances.
If you would ask me what my most prized possession is, you might be surprised to hear that my response would not be my family, or my house and property, nor my possessions! It would actually be my time.
Time is something that once given, can never be taken back. It isn’t like earning interest in an investment account, or is it? You see, I work with volunteers on a regular basis and they are selfless with their time. They sit with hospice patients knowing they will not be compensated for their time or travel expense; they do it because they want to. Imagine this —volunteering because you understand the reward is nothing external but a sense of purpose, compassion, and the overall recognition of doing good for a complete stranger and their family. I know there are several worthy organizations that rely heavily upon volunteers and I applaud anyone willing to give of themselves to a need or cause. I can’t honestly think of a more worthy cause (although I admit I am a bit biased) than hospice.
Several years ago, I heard of an excerpt from the late William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army. He was asked to attend a convention to be the key note speaker. He was very ill then and could not personally appear so he sent a telegram that was to be read at the opening session. The delegates were silenced as a man approached the podium and told them that he had a telegram from Booth. As a hush fell over the crowd, the man read the telegram loudly. It contained only one word. OTHERS!
This is what being a volunteer is all about: Others. Serving them and putting their needs above your own. Giving and expecting nothing in return.
Take it from me: in the process you will learn that WHEN YOU GIVE, YOU ARE THE ONE WHO RECEIVES THE GREATEST GIFT. What do you gain? Like William Booth, I have one word for you. PURPOSE. And if you know me, you will understand that I rarely say just one word.
Debby is a Pastor’s wife for nearly 30 years, is a mother of 4, and is a beaming Nana of 6 beautiful kids. She was previously an Elementary School Teacher and is now Transitions Hospice’s Volunteer Coordinator. To Debby, leading volunteers is very rewarding and as she says it, her dream job.