Time is perhaps the most finite, as well as the most valuable, resource that a person has. The flow of time is beyond our control. To devote one’s time on an activity or effort for the benefit of society, in the absence of renumeration, is a very noble thing that a person can do. That is exactly what volunteerism is about. Unfortunately, less and less people are engaging in volunteerism in America, over the years. That is an issue that must be addressed.
Volunteers play a vital role in society. They spend time in fire departments and put their lives on the line to serve the community. Volunteers also serve in faith-based or other charitable organizations to help those in need of food, clothing, and shelter. Volunteers also help senior citizens by driving them to medical appointments or delivering food to homebound individuals. People engaged in volunteer activities also help raise awareness about a wide variety of diseases and medical conditions such as cancer, dementia, and diabetes. In our communities, volunteers also help keep parks and libraries in proper order. Moreover, volunteers also serve as tutors for children and adults. And also, when disasters such as wildfires, tornadoes, and hurricanes strike, many members of the community step forward as volunteers to help address the crises and to ease the pain and suffering of the victims. There are endless opportunities for volunteers to provide their time, knowledge, and expertise to serve the community.
Unfortunately, the number of individuals who are available, willing, and able to serve as volunteers seems to have declined over time. Reportedly, fewer Americans are volunteering in the community, and the national volunteer rate has decreased since the early 2000s.
Volunteerism requires commitment and dedication. To take valuable time out of one’s schedule to engage in productive activities, without getting any wages or salaries for doing so, requires strong enthusiasm and resolve. Commitment to serve as a volunteer would only find its way into one’s heart when there is love for the community.
Understanding that personal well-being depends on the collective well-being of others in society is essential in developing the willingness to invest one’s time and energy for the betterment of the community.
Because there is a decrease in volunteerism, steps must be taken to encourage the younger generation to engage in volunteer activities.
Parent and teachers must lead by example. They must volunteer their time for charitable causes to inspire children and young adults to do the same. Sowing seeds of volunteerism will lead to fruits of service in the future.
Responsible adults must explain the needs in the community to the members of the younger generation. Organizations that rely on volunteers must also engage in outreach to share stories of how volunteerism benefits the people they serve, as well as the society in general. When people realize that their volunteer activities will help improve the lives and living conditions of others, they are more likely to engage in such efforts.
America needs volunteers. While sound employment and a strong professional career are essential for stable financial footing, volunteerism is what truly brings people close to their communities.
Taking time out of one’s personal schedule to engage in volunteerism is a noble activity, as I have expressed earlier. It is now time to inspire and energize people to engage in volunteer activities.