Why Volunteer Work is Thrifty

Why Volunteer Work is Thrifty: An Inspirational Piece

Volunteer work is all about giving: giving time, giving money, giving energy. How is that thrifty?

Well, my dear reader, haven’t you ever heard that you get what you give?

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You have the power to make such a huge difference in this world and it doesn’t take a lifetime, it doesn’t take hours upon hours of work, it’s easy – just help someone. You may never know what sort of impact you made, but it’s okay to imagine.

Imagine that the last unit of blood available for a car-accident victim is yours.

Imagine that while volunteering at a local garden, you inspire the imagination of a child who then grows up to become a botanical scientist who discovers a cure for cancer in some unknown part of the rain forest.

Imagine that the person you helped was suicidal, thinking there was no one left in the world that cared enough to simply pay attention.

Imagine that you saved a life, because in one way or another, you probably did.

Why Volunteer Work is Thrifty

I’m sure there are plenty of people who may see this sort of optimism as naive (annoying at worst) but what’s so wrong in hoping? Yes, people will let you down – but they’re going to do that whether you believe in them or not. No one ever quit trying because they were believed in.

So what do you do? A) You put no faith into people, have no expectations (and therefore no excitement about the possibilities), and whether they let you down or not – oh good, nothing has changed. B) You have hope, allow yourself to feel giddy about the future, and should you be let down – well, take what you can, learn better for next time, and get excited about what comes next.

Why Volunteer Work is Thrifty: An Inspirational Piece

Don’t look away from someone in need. Dare to step up and step out. When someone asks for help, consider it for a moment before immediately saying you don’t have the time or the energy or the resources. The human race can be kind of a screwed up set of creatures. (In general:) We rarely help each other, we don’t value the possibilities of intelligence, we fight for peace, and we instantly pass judgments based on outward appearances. Mistakes are hardly forgiven. It’s cool to be tough. Ignorance is allowed, hell sometimes it’s even encouraged. No one has time for anything.

And sure, it’s easy to look the other way when we see a homeless stranger on the streets. No one wants to think about how insignificant that person must feel. And in a way, it’s understandable. If you’re at all like me, you don’t want to witness that pain because then in some way, if only for the briefest of moments, it becomes your pain. Before you can stop yourself, you realize that person freezing on the sidewalk was someone’s first love. Someone’s brother. Someone’s baby.

 

While I by no means think everyone should constantly worry about everyone else, nothing will ever get better in this world if we are all on autopilot. Break free from your routine. Become an active member of our community. Change your world by changing someone else’s.

As Margaret Mead once said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Do you do any sort of volunteer work? What are thoughts on involving young ones?

 

While you’re at it – be sure to call first dibs on my latest time and money management freebies by signing up for my weekly e-mail list!

 

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16 Comments

  • Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com Reply

    Hi Amber! I just popped over from the #BlogShareLearn thread on FB and read your post. I so agree that volunteering is important. And the good news is that it not only helps others, but it FEELS good to us when we do it. Besides that I am an optimist so I already know and believe there is more good in the world than we usually know. Thanks for the reminders. ~Kathy

    • Thrifty Guardian Reply

      Thank YOU for the comment. And for being an optimist 🙂 It’s not always easy!

  • Nadine Caring in the Chaos Reply

    At Christmas there was a homeless man sitting outside a bank. Day in day out her was there until I could take it no more, like you described for the briefest of moments you feel their pain and so I bought him a tea and gave him a little money. Not a huge gesture but one that took me out of autopilot momentarily. A lovely post, I shall return 🙂 x

    • Thrifty Guardian Reply

      Hi, Nadine! Every little bit helps. You may not have seen it as a huge gesture, but it was for him. For a moment you helped him realize he’s not invisible, that there are people out there who still care and want to help. Go you!! 🙂

  • Juana Reply

    Very well said. I think more people could stand to have this attitude. 🙂

  • diyjahn Reply

    I love this post and it truly means a lot that it’s shared. I volunteer regularly for an organization that helps kids out – I wish I could do more. The change that you can make in a persons life is so significant. It’s extraordinary what people can do. This message definitely needs to be heard! If you’re ever willing, I’d love it if you could do a guest post for DIY Jahn about why volunteering is important? 🙂 If so, you can contact me at thejahns15@gmail.com

    Thank you again for this beautiful post! 🙂

      • diyjahn Reply

        No problem! 🙂 Thank you!

  • Rosemond Reply

    I do some volunteer work with animal rescues. I do lots of volunteer work at my daughter’s school. I used to do more volunteer work before I became a mom, but I need to do more because I think its important for my daughter to learn the importance of giving back to others.

    We truly can change the world if we step out and become a part of it. Thank you for bringing this up!

  • Molly Stevens Reply

    I like your viewpoint and yes, there is good in this world. And so many great things happen due to efforts of volunteers. It is not something that makes breaking news because positive news doesn’t sell, but volunteerism and helping each other is what makes life worth living. Great post!

  • s Reply

    I love the comment about changing your world while changing someone elses. I’ve been really thinking about volunteering lately and am definitely going to pursue after reading your post. Sue from Sizzling Towards Sixty. Will share on my FB page.

  • Silly Mummy Reply

    Well put. That’s a great attitude to have, & I agree the world would be better if more people had it!

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