Sunday, July 25, 2010

Make A Difference

Volunteerism in the United States is alive and well. According the the Bureau of Labor statistics, "both the number of volunteers and the volunteer rate rose over the year ended in September 2009, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in January 2010. About 63.4 million people, or 26.8 percent of the population, volunteered through or for an organization at least once between September 2008 and September 2009. In 2008, the volunteer rate was 26.4 percent."

Another perspective presented by Independent Sector is that "the estimated dollar value of volunteer time for 2009 is $20.85 per hour."

The estimate helps acknowledge the millions of individuals who dedicate their time, talents, and energy to making a difference. Charitable organizations can use this estimate to quantify the enormous value volunteers provide.

According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, "about 63.4 million Americans, or 26.8 percent of the adult population, gave 8.1 billion hours of volunteer service worth $169 billion in 2009."

Statistics are wonderful, but it's the actual volunteers that tell the story.

In my neighborhood, a gated community, we have a volunteer committee and in particular, one homeowner who is very good with tools and can fix anything. Jim has saved the association thousands of dollars just because he is handy and is willing to give his time to the community. He has made a difference for over fifteen years!

Another friend of mine has spent months revamping a manual of procedures for the organization to operate properly. Keith wants to ensure that the organization can grow effectively and achieve the mission to help Christians at risk in the holy land. Keith volunteers much more of his time in other ways, but revamping the manual will make a difference now!

Just think of all the service organizations that could not survive without member volunteers. I'll get off my soap box now - go out and make a difference! It will be personally satisfying to you and will help others in the process.

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