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Queens Chronicle

Woodhaven Developments

The Value of Volunteerism

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Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2014 10:30 am | Updated: 11:36 am, Thu Mar 20, 2014.

Spring is only 10 days away, and daylight savings time has arrived. It is so great to have it lighter later. Also, you can feel the warmth of approaching spring.

Sometime ago in a letter to the editor, a truly eloquent testament was made to the noblest of unselfish giving — being a volunteer. This individual stated “to show support for some kind of worthwhile cause or organization in your area and also that you should contribute your time or talent.” All of the local community organizations do need support and involvement to perpetuate what dedicated individuals have worked for and accomplished over the years.

In my case, over a quarter of a century, in some cases even more.

When you are a truly committed volunteer you take time from your spouses and families. You postpone vacations and all of your free time is dedicated to community problems and the pursuit of their solutions with other dedicated organization members. Also, you place your organization and your community’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” or some being 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 who initially obscure their selfish-indulgent goals when they volunteer. Also, due to the dearth in volunteers, the altruistic long-standing members are often duped by these “new members” who use them to their own ends.

Let us understand, volunteerism should be rewarded, but as a biproduct 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 — 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 your other organization members and your community residents. Also, when you are revealed as being a self-indulgent and self-promoting individual involved for all the “wrong reasons,” don’t try to diminish the organization when you leave, for in doing so, you diminish no one but yourself.

To all you potential volunteers, please get involved, but do it with well meaning and good-hearted intent. Volunteerism is rewarding and as someone stated recently “it’s good for the soul.” This is the “Value of Volunteerism.”

May God bless our Armed Forces, our disabled veterans and may God bless America.

Welcome to the discussion.