Volunteering should be a long-term commitment

Some people volunteer time and actually go to the disaster areas, risking their own safety and possibly their lives. Many find creative ways to raise funds for disaster relief organizations.

Some people volunteer time and actually go to the disaster areas, risking their own safety and possibly their lives. Many find creative ways to raise funds for disaster relief organizations.

by Mary Sanders —

When a national disaster strikes, countless numbers of people rally together to pitch in to help in almost every way imaginable. With the recent unfortunate events in the Louisiana and surrounding Gulf areas, hurricanes Katrina and Rita have not been kind in their wrath. Reading through the endless stories from survivors and volunteers can become very overwhelming to those just watching. Something inside starts to tug at your heart and speak to you, saying that you have to do something!

What is it that you are led to do? Some people volunteer time and actually go to the disaster areas, risking their own safety and possibly their lives. Many find creative ways to raise funds for disaster relief organizations.

While these are wonderful ways to help, volunteering should be more than a “disaster-by-disaster” impulse. In our own communities, there are hundreds of charitable organizations that continue to seek volunteers. According to Marie Sullivan of Arizona Women’s Education and Employment (AWEE), between September 2003 and September 2004, volunteers spent the national median of 52 hours on volunteer activities, men at 52 and women at 50 (down from 52). And those people are a rare breed of special individuals.

Nationally, only 64.5 million people did volunteer work at least once, equaling 28.5 percent of the population.

All too often, volunteers who invest in helping with local community service go unnoticed. One hour of time donated for a task that a waged person in Arizona might do is equivalent to an estimated savings to the charity of $15.44 per hour, while the national average in 2004 was $17.55. The total dollar value of national volunteer time is estimated at $272 billion. A generous donation of time allows the charity to utilize funds in areas directed to their mission.

When your heart tugs and your inner voice speaks again, get involved and volunteer. Then stay involved. Find a charity that has a mission that interests you and share some of your compassionate qualities with local organizations. You can make a difference and be recognized. Join the National Make a Difference Day on October 22, 2005, a national day declared to helping others. There are many ways to help your local charities, too.

Volunteer statistical information was supplied by Marie Sullivan, president and CEO of Arizona Women’s Education and Employment, Inc.  mariesullivan@awee.org, www.awee.org, 602-223-4333.

 

Mary Sanders is with Payroll Control Systems, a full-service payroll company. www.pcspayroll.com; 602-522-9800; e-mail msanders@pcspayroll.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 24, Number 5, October/November 2005.

, , , , , , , , ,
Web Analytics