These days there is a great need for volunteers in all walks of life. Your life can soon be full of interest if you volunteer. It can be rewarding for anyone young or old. Are you bored at home? Get out and offer help in an area that interests you. You will meet many interesting people and enrich your own life.
I know this because I have been volunteering for over 22 years. I followed my interest in music and helped with outreach to schools that a local orchestra wanted us to do. I used my writing skills to encourage people to attend concerts and I helped to write guides for school performances. My other interest is in helping those seriously ill. After a training course, I was able to work with the Hospice and through it, I have made good friends and contributed to our community. Touching the lives of people in hospital is a privilege and I am often moved by their courage and tenacity as they deal with cancer or serious heart conditions. Listening to their stories allows them to feel better for telling all they have been through and I feel I help. Doing pastoral care for my church, I have opportunities to help anyone who needs prayer; that is special. My own life is enriched by the wonderful people I meet in these ways.
This past year, our church has a group of volunteers making bed mats out of milk bags for people in Haiti . One enthusiastic friend started this going and now we have many people collecting used milk bags (and saving them from the dumps!), a few men who help cut the bags into strips and women and young people who loop them together and make balls ready for those who crochet the mats.There is a great need for mats in places where there have been disasters so we are all delighted to be involved in this Haiti project. Many willing hands have spent hours crocheting over 80 bed mats and 24 smaller squares for seats for children to use . The mats are easy to clean and soon dry in a hot climate.
We were encouraged recently by hearing a talk from a business man who volunteers his expertise, time and money to help the poorest people in Haiti since the earthquake of 2010. He travels there 3 or 4 times a year to distribute the food, medicines, clothes and goods he has encouraged people to donate. He loads up a 40 foot container, ships it out to Haiti and collects it there to give to those who need it. His volunteering has expanded as he has seen other needs for water purification tablets, wheelchairs and appliances to help an orphanage. He told us that his business has been blessed by what he has done for others in Haiti. God has used his talents and allowed his business to thrive during a recession.
Meeting someone like that is a real incentive to get involved in volunteering. I also met a fine lady who spent just under three months in an orphanage in Kenya where children are placed when parents die of aids or when they are abandoned. She came back with wonderful stories of the work being done there and the joy she felt as a volunteer.
Just think of the world-wide organisations that have began because people cared. Doctors without Borders is manned by volunteer doctors who go in when disaster hits any country; Oxfam and UNICEF still use many volunteers in all aspects of their work. Our world relies on such loving giving people. We would be lost without them! Just recently Canadian Hydro men went to help the people of New York and they worked round the clock. Most of that work was paid but the long hours were willingly volunteered. We can admire men and women who go beyond the call of duty.
I am sure you have experienced the good work of volunteers in your own community and, through the media, you’ve read about world-wide helpers. Human beings want to reach out to each other and volunteering makes us better people for doing just that. I know I want to keep on doing it as long as I can.