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Other Quotables

We post quotables by newest submissions first.

It seems that someone asked the great anthropologist Margaret Mead, "What is the first sign you look for, to tell you of an ancient civilization?" The interviewer had in mind a tool or article of clothing. Ms. Mead surprised him by answering, a "healed femur" (thigh bone, for those of you who didn't study biology).

When someone breaks a femur, they can't survive to hunt, fish or escape enemies unless they have help from someone else. Thus, a healed femur indicates that someone else helped that person, rather than abandoning them and saving themselves. Isn't that what we in philanthropy are all about? Healing femurs of one sort or another?

 

-- Unknown     Submitted by Rick Christ

A group of people are standing at a river bank and suddenly hear the cries of a baby. Shocked, they see an infant floating--drowning--in the water. One person immediately dives in to rescue the child. But as this is going on, yet another baby comes floating down the river, and then another! People continue to jump in to save the babies and then see that one person has started to walk away from the group still on shore. Accusingly they shout, "where are you going?" The response: "I'm going upstream to stop whoever's throwing babies into the river."

So, I guess we do need BOTH direct service AND advocacy volunteers!

-- Unknown     Submitted by From Susan Ellis, president of Energize, Inc. (Susan doesn't know the original source of this parable. If you do, please let us know!)

A woman was walking along a beach filled with starfish. As she walked, she would stoop down, pick one up at random, and throw it back into the ocean. A man came upon her and asked why she was bothering with throwing some back when there were so many--how could it possibly make a difference? She picked up another starfish, threw it back into the ocean, and said it made a difference to that one

-- Recited by Geraldine Warren at NCS Volunteer Recognition night.     Submitted by Erika Papendorf, erikaalexa@bigfoot.com.

If your meeting room, your board room, or your office (take your pick) isn't a nursery for ideas, a rumpus room where seals frolic, forget it. Burn the table, lock the room, fire the clerks. You will rarely come up with any ideas worth entertaining. The full room with the heavy people trudging in with long faces to solve problems by beating them to death is very death itself. Serious confrontations rarely arrive at serious ends. Unless the people you meet with are fun loving kids out for a romp, tossing ideas like confetti, and letting the damn bits fall where they may, no spirit will ever rouse, no notion will ever birth, no love will be mentioned, no climax reached. You must swim at your meetings, you must jump for baskets, you must take hefty swings for great or missed drives, you must run and dive, you must fall and roll, and when the fun stops, get the hell out.

-- Ray Bradbury in a book called The Leader's Edge     Submitted by Submitted by Bridgett Chandler, bearnw@ix.netcom.com.

Entering a very cold, dark room, you are presented with the choice of a fireplace, a wood stove and a lantern. What would you light first? The match, of course. When working with volunteers, people needing services and the community or businesses, first the spark must be lit in you. If it isn't, how can you pass it on to others?

-- Unknown     Submitted by Submitted by Debra Banks at dpbanks@seark.net , Nonprofit Consultant. Actively involved with volunteer management and community work for almost 10 years in Southeast Arkansas.

My mother's favorite story. Don't know the source but I heard it thousands of times while I was growing up!:

A circuit preacher and his young son traveled the countryside on horseback. When they approached a small town the preacher would offer to preach a sermon at the small church in exchange for what the congregation could afford to pay. At one such small church, the preacher and his son entered the church and the preacher casually threw a quarter into the poor box.

After a fine sermon, one of the congregation stood and thanked the preacher and said, "We're a small church and we can afford to pay you only what's in the poor box." He opened the box and dropped the contents into the preacher's hand...a quarter. As the preacher and his son were riding away, the preacher was grumbling about the meager pay. The son listened for a bit and said "Dad, if you wanted more out, why didn't you put more in?"

We always get out of life (and volunteering) pretty much what we put into it!

-- Unknown     Submitted by Lee A. Barrett, LeBarrett@infoave.net, Coordinator of Volunteer Services for Lowcountry AIDS Services

In Korea, there is a legend about a native warrior who died and went to heaven. "Before I enter," he said to the gatekeeper, "I would like you to take me on a tour of hell." The gatekeeper found a guide to take the warrior to hell. When they got there, the warrior was astonished to see a great table piled high with every tasty food he could imagine - anything one could possibly want to eat or drink. The warrior then looked at the people. They were all starving. "How could this be?" he asked the guide. "Are they not allowed to eat?" "Oh yes, they can eat," said the guide "but they must use the chopsticks they are given. They are five feet long and they must hold them at the end. Just look at them. They miss their mouths every time!" "Enough," said the warrior, "This is hell, indeed! Please take me back to heaven."

In heaven, to his surprise, he saw a similar room, with a similar table loaded with all the same food. But, the people were in radiant health, happy and well-nourished. The warrior turned to the guide and said, "I see - no chopsticks here." The guide replied that yes, the people were still issued chopsticks and yes, they were still five feet long and that they still must be held at the end - but, the difference was that in heaven the people learned to feed each other.

-- Unknown     Submitted by Nancy Sutter

A French riddle for children illustrates the idea of  "exponential growth". I like to use this riddle to combat the myth that "there's plenty of time to act--I'll volunteer next year." Suppose you own a pond on which a water lily is growing. The lily plant doubles in size each day. If the plant were allowed to grow unchecked, it would completely cover the pond in 30 days, choking off all other forms of life in the water. For a long time the lily plant seems small, so you decide no to worry about it until it covers half the pond. On what day will that be? On the twenty-ninth day. You have just one day to act to save your pond.

-- Unknown     Submitted by Lynn Carroll, Volunteer Program Coordinator, The Nature Conservancy, PA

There were two angels sent to earth to walk as men for a time, one older . . .   one younger. After a long day they came upon a very nice home where they asked if they might spend the night and rest. The owner, a person of substantial means finally gave into the request and let them use the old cellar in the back of the property. It was cold and damp and as they prepared for sleep the older angel caused a minor miracle to be performed in repairing one wall that was degraded to the point of collapse. The younger angel asked "why did you do that for people that are obviously greedy and self indulgent?". The older simply replied "things are not always as they seem".

The next evening they came upon a small dwelling in the woods and upon inquiring found the farmer and his wife very accommodating . . .   to the point of requiring them to use their bed and share their meager meal as they appeared to be very tired and in need of rest. Upon leaving the next morning they noticed the farmer and his wife in the small side yard grieving over the death of their only cow.

As they walked down the road the younger angel became angry and asked, "How could you allow that to happen? Night before last you do good for a person that would barely lift a finger to help and last night you allow this poor but gentle farmer and his wife to loose something of such value." The older angel turned to the younger angel and said "the other night I noticed that the old cellar wall was barely holding back the riches of an old vault, filled with treasures and gold so I repaired it knowing that more of such finery for one such greedy person would not help others. Last night while we slept the angel of death came to take the farmer's wife. I convinced him to take the cow instead.
"THINGS ARE NOT ALWAYS AS THEY SEEM"

-- Unknown     Submitted by Brett Roper, Hollingsworth Companies, Tennessee, USA

Found at this URL: http://friedsocialworker.com/burnoutbusters.htm. Here is the true story behind it, and the original author:
http://suewidemark.com/lessonsgeese.htm

When you see geese flying along in "V" formation, you might consider what science has discovered as to why they fly that way:
As each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following.

By flying in "V" formation, the whole flock adds at least 71 percent greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.

People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going more quickly and easily because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.

When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone, and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front.

If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those people who are headed the same way we are.

When the head goose gets tired, it rotates back in the wing and another goose flies point.

It is sensible to take turns doing demanding jobs, whether with people or with geese flying south.

Geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.

What messages do we give when we honk from behind?

Finally ... and this is important ... when a goose gets sick or is wounded by gunshot, and falls out of formation, two other geese fall out with that goose and follow it down to lend help and protection. They stay with the fallen goose until it is able to fly or until it dies, and only then do they launch out on their own, or with another formation to catch up with their group.

If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other like that.

-- Unknown     Submitted by Unknown

Once upon a time, there existed 5 people; these five people's names were 'A', 'B', 'C', 'D', and 'E'. Day 1: On day one, the leader, whose name was 'Z', gave orders to 'A', 'B', 'C', 'D', and 'E' and upon giving orders, asked who would like to volunteer. The first to volunteer (for ease of explanation) was person A. Every time, person A volunteered, no matter what the task. The interesting thing was that on Day 1, 'A', 'B', 'C', 'D', and 'E' had equal knowledge and experience, but since A was the first to volunteer, A gained the first experience. Each person volunteered according to their letter ranking: A ahead of B, B ahead of C, C ahead of D, and D ahead of E. The rank was an indicator of their confidence. A was more confident than B, B more confident than C, etc. By day 20 or so, A was far ahead of E in experience and knowledge, and E had no idea why.
This parable actually reflects a lesson I learned in Air Force ROTC. In training, when the leader makes a command for a task to be done, all soldiers/cadets/personnel will eventually have to follow the command. The last person to volunteer winds up being the least experienced. Have the confidence to volunteer early!

-- Unknown     Submitted by Chris

One day an elephant saw a hummingbird lying on its back with its tiny feet up in the air. "What are you doing?" asked the elephant. The hummingbird replied, "I heard that the sky might fall today, and so I am ready to help hold it up, should it fall." The elephant laughed cruelly. "Do you really think," he said, "that those tiny feet could help hold up the sky?" The hummingbird kept his feet up in the air, intent on his purpose, as he replied, "Not alone. But each must do what he can. And this is what I can do."

-- Chinese Proverb     Submitted by Patrick Giddeons

We post quotables by newest submissions first.

"One World One Song" by Dionne Warwick and Joe McElderry. Lyrics posted and a video performance on YouTube.

http://www.ysa.org/one_world_one_song_dionne_warwick_joe_mcelderry

 

-- Youth Service America     Submitted by Susan J. Ellis

Century of the Volunteers

Lyrics and Background (PDF)

Recording of the Song (MP3)  (Right click to download.)

The song, as a recording or performance, is free to use!

Raheem Dilgir says:

I wrote "Century of the Volunteer" to rally, mobilize and energize volunteers. Its message is one of renewal, purpose and inclusiveness, and its tone is celebratory. I warmly invite volunteer leaders of all strifes to download the song and use it in support their goals of promoting volunteerism. Possible uses include: playing the audio at volunteer recruitment or recognition events; using it as the background music for video footage or a slide show that shows expressions of volunteerism; or adopting it as a theme song for young volunteers to learn and sing as a group.

-- -Raheem Dilgir     Submitted by Raheem Dilgir, lyricist, vocalist, arranger and producer of the song

The Volunteer Recognition Skit Kit  by Arlene Grubbs and Evie Levine in the Energize Online Bookstore has volunteer-related lyrics for many "old standard" songs. Here's one example:

Hooray for Volunteers

(Sung to the tune of "Hooray for Hollywood")

Hooray for volunteers

These extra super special volunteers

We couldn't copy without your smiling faces

And feel this place is

Great because you are here

Those tough jobs we wish

We could accomplish

You take on and do with the best of cheer

Hooray for volunteers

With you on board our troubles disappear

And any one of you will always come through

Each time we need you

To help us get the job done

We think the world of you

And of the job you do

Hooray for volunteers!

-- Arlene Grubbs and Evie Levine     Submitted by Susan J. Ellis, President of Energize

Favorite Volunteer Songs

The words and music for these songs are located at: http://academic.regis.edu/volunteer/songs/default.htm

  • Wind Beneath My Wings (Bette Midler)
  • For He's a Jolly Good Fellow (traditional)
  • A Thousand Points of Light (Randy Travis) **
  • Man In the Mirror (Michael Jackson)
  • Hero's Welcome (Michael Bolton)
  • Change the World (Eric Clapton)
  • A Little Help From My Friends (The Beatles)
  • Because You Love Me (Celine Dion)
  • Go Light Your World (Kathy Troccoll) **
  • Let's Hear It For the Volunteers (Mustard's Retreat)
  • I Volunteer (Collin Raye) **
  • We Are the World - Various Artists
  • Thank You For Being A Friend - Andrew Gold
  • Whenever I Call You Friend - Kenny Loggins
  • United We Stand - Brotherhood of Man
  • Get Together - Youngbloods
  • Lean On Me - Bill Withers
  • Hero - Mariah Carey
-- Unknown     Submitted by Mary Lou McNatt, Regis University H-4, CO

We Sing for Volunteers
We sing for volunteers that's true.
And that is why we sing for you.
The good news is we sing for free.
The bad news is we sing off key.
Sound off...Thank you
Sound off...Volunteers
Thank you, thank you, Volunteers
Song sung to Volunteers at our Annual Volunteer Appreciation Picnic
 

-- Unknown     Submitted by Joyce Barkel, Volunteer Services Director

There's No People Like Volunteers
Sung to the tune "There's No People Like Show People"
There's no people like volunteers like no people we know. Everything about them is appealing.
Everything the limit will allow.
No where can you get that happy feeling when they are with us like now.
There's no people like volunteers we smile when they are near.
And we are hear to say they really save the day and what they do is worth more than their pay.
And anyone of them would always come through when there's a job to do.
We thank you so much.
 

-- Unknown     Submitted by Jill Mondry, Manager of Volunteer Services, Altru Health System, North Dakota

The Volunteer Song
To listen to a song specifically written for and about volunteers go to http://academic.regis.edu/volunteer/ivan/Sect05/sect05b.htm#VolunteerSong. There you can listen to the Volunteer Song, by Paul Horrisberger and Dick Kimmel. Through "The Volunteer Song", Paul relates why people volunteer, what they can do as volunteers, and the rewards of volunteering.
 

-- Paul Horrisberger and Dick Kimmel     Submitted by Claudia Colleir, Director, Volunteer Center of the YMCA

LOVE IN ACTION
Do you think you can make a difference by what you do?
It's true, it takes only one act of kindness for the wheel to move

Chorus:
Love in Action starts a chain reaction
That power is in you, yeah
Love in Action starts a chain reaction
As you give to others, you give to you

Bridge:

And the walls of resistance tumble down
Fear and anger have no ground
when the power of love and kindness comes 'round
So, do you think you can make a difference by what you do?
It's true, the joy of giving and receiving will take away the blues

(Repeat Chorus)

-- Unknown     Submitted by Tammy Joseph

Energize staff member Thea Woods (Generation Y) saw this section of the site and offered the following additions, with links to their lyrics:

  • Jewel – Hands (See lyrics here)
  • Michael Jackson – Heal the World (See lyrics here)
  • Peter Gabriel/Cyndi Lauper (or Bono and Alicia Keys) – Don’t Give Up (See lyrics here)
  • U2 (Bono) – American Prayer (Version 2 Lyrics here) a.k.a “African Prayer” featuring Beyoncé” (Version 1 lyrics here)
  • Sheryl Crow – Safe and Sound (See lyrics here)
  • U2 featuring Mary J. Blige – One (See lyrics here)
  • Michael Jackson – Earth Song (See lyrics here)
-- Unknown     Submitted by Thea Woods

Kind and Generous
My favourite song to thank volunteers at at appreciation dinner or the like is one by Natalie Merchant entitled Kind and Generous. I've used it so many times, and it is always a hit with the volutneers and staff alike!

Supertramp's "Give a Little Bit" has also proven very popular.

-- Unknown     Submitted by L. Salb

Song (Written By Durmerrick R.)

*Calvary Honor society
We got to build our community
So we put our faith, in god and know
He's never gonna fail oh no no no

They say faith without works is dead
So you gotta DO just whatever says
And seek to stand for righteousness
Even when such a stand
May be unpopular just take his hand
And don't you worry what others may think Just remember he sees
everything And it starts, with you and me

*Calvary Honor society
We got to build our community
So we put our faith, in god and know
He's never gonna fail oh no no no

So when you put your faith, and works together Then You will see how, things are made better With every gift or maybe smile Maybe your time its all worthwhile child Youre making a difference with the smallest of things Just remember change, it starts with me And when you give just a little of your time There is a smile, Maybe first from you Then maybe from a child

* Can Be Arranged To Different Words To Accommodate Its Use , With Full Credit Given To Original Artist *

 

-- Durmerrick R.     Submitted by Durmerrick R.

We post quotables by newest submissions first.

A Christmas Poem
(to adapt to your organisation)
 

Your kindness is appreciated
All throughout the year

And it is not just at Christmas time 
That your actions bring good cheer

 
We know we are so fortunate
Here at Queensferry Care
To have you week in week out
As our valued volunteer
 
Warm wishes for a
Very Happy Christmas
From all at QCCC

-- Queensferry Care, UK     Submitted by Lorna Russell

Volunteer I Am
Written by Eileen Thompson, Volunteer Programs Coordinator
Presbyterian Hospital, Huntersville NC

Twenty-four hours in every day.
Where can I go to give some away?
For my time is a gift.
My experience gold,
All I desire...
Is a small hand to hold.

A tear to wipe, a child to soothe
A lonely patient to comfort when blue
A harried worker to lend a hand to

There's no need for you to strike up the band
For I rarely seek out the fanfare of man.
I simply have time to give quite away
To help those in need and brighten their day

For my time is my own.
I give it for free.
A volunteer I am.
A volunteer I'll be.

-- Unknown     Submitted by Eileen Thompson

Viva Volunteers!
by Akbar Khan

Like everyone else you face life’s struggles
Additionally, you volunteer your time
Though intrinsic rewards may be many
Wages you get nary a dime

Some volunteer for freedom and fun
Some out of goodness of heart
For many a reason, 1.3 million Canadian
Volunteers do their part

Feeding the physically challenged
Visiting with the old and lonely
Outreaching into the community
Beyond the call of duty

Looking after the elderly and sick
Delivering meals on the go
Around the clock, 365 days
Through rain or shine or snow

Being Big Sister to a young girl
Or Big Brother to a little boy
Sharing, caring and understanding
Spreading love, comfort and joy

Fundraising for charities
Canvassing door to door
You willingly do with a smile
What others consider a bore

So tonight we acknowledge your efforts
And in your honor proudly raise cheers
May God Bless you one and all
V I V A    L A    V O L U N T E E R S !     

-- Unknown     Submitted by Akbar Khan

Do We Have As Much Sense As A Goose?
By Akbar Khan

A flock of geese flying in a formation ‘V’
Much research reveals what you do not see

Each bird in front by flapping its wing
Creates an uplift for the goose following

Flying in ‘V’ formation they change
By 71% plus their flying range

Common direction and a sense of community
Our efforts become quick and easy

If a goose falls out of formation by chance
It feels greater drag and resistance

If we have as much sense as a goose we’ll stay
In formation with those headed our way

When tired the lead goose rotates to the rear
Another taking its place in the air

It pays, while doing hard jobs, to take turns
Thus no one is over burdened or get burns

The geese in the back honk from behind
Encouraging, gentle and kind

We must encourage others as they strive
To meet the daily grind of life

If a goose gets sick and or wounded
If for some reason it gets grounded

Two geese fall out of formation
They keep it company and for protection

Stay with it until it flies or dies
Such are the depths of their ties

If we humans have the sense of a goose
Their way of life is what we’d choose

Based on a write-up “Do we have as much sense as a goose?”   

-- Unknown     Submitted by Akbar Khan

Namaste
I honor the place within you
Where the entire world resides
I honor the place within you
of hope, of light, of truth, of peace
I honor the place within you
Where when you are in that place within you
And I am in that place within me
There is only one of us...

Explanation for above verse:
I was selected by the Dooley Foundation to work with Nepalese natives in Kathmandu as a volunteer in 1972.  I left Pan Am World Airlines as a flight attendant and took a 3 month leave.  The Nepalese greeted each other every day with this beautiful greeting, which translated from Hindi into English as the above!
 

Submitted by Lesleigh J. Tolin, MS, Volunteer Coordinator, Odyssey Hospice, Los Angeles

Thursdays
by Dom Shalalo (Teacher/Librarian)

What will we do without you
on those quiet Thursday morns?

That workroom where..oh
those books stand so forlorn.

They wait for practised hands, you see
to process them with care

That shifty contact, bubbles
at our merest touch or stare.

But our volunteers have conquered
its wicked wiles and ways

Gliding to book corners
it no longer dares to stray.

"Oh work is only work" some say and that may often be!
But to us your work is the work of love, giving so selflessly.

Submitted by Dom Shalalo

To Our Volunteers
by Lisa Ellinwood

V is for the Very special people that you are
O is for the Overwhelming support & compassion you offer others during their time of need
L is for the Little things you do that make such a difference in someone's life
U is for the Unspoken words that sometimes mean just as much
N is for the Need you fill when others aren't able
T is for the Time you give of yourselves on top of your own busy schedules
E is for the Emotional support you continually give
E is also for the Endless energy you all seem to possess
R is for the Responsibility you have taken on & never once complained S is for the Smiles you bring to patients & families by just being you

-- Unknown     Submitted by Lisa Ellinwood

Explore The Wonder
by Sandy Cavinee

The mystery of God's creation unfolds along our way.
Never fully revealed to us, just pieces every day.
The earth, the sky, the oceans hold their secrets but show to man- How
beautiful and mighty are God's works and plan.
The greatest gift He gave us-to share as here we dwell, are people just like you who know love so well.
And as we "explore the wonder" of what volunteering means, the WONDER is your service-you are the greatest theme!

(I wrote this several years ago and it was made into bookmarks for Volunteer Week-our theme was "Explore The Wonder-Volunteer).

Submitted by Sandy Cavinee

He Said, She Said
in the Volunteer world

by Joan Perry, CAVS
Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital

"How can I be of help?" she asked,
"I have a good idea," he said,
"Here, hold my hand," she suggested,
"We'll do it together," they offered.

"We'll be right here until it's done."
"Let's do it this way, its more fun!"
"It's what we're here for it's no fuss."
"Call us back if you should need us."

"She needs our help, God bless her heart."
"Oh, I'm just glad to do my part."
"Walk with me, I'll show the way."
"Goodness no, I don't want pay."

"You can do it, I'll show you how."
"You need it when? I'll do it now."
"If you need anything I'm right here."
"Who am I? A volunteer."

-- Unknown     Submitted by Joan Perry

Thank You to Our Parent Volunteers
by Christina Williams

I'm finally going to graduate, the day is almost here.
I learned to count and write this year, because you volunteered.
You shared your love, your time and smile, so I could learn to read.
I can’t believe I like this stuff, who knew that learning could be fun.
I hope you know just how thankful I am, that you took the time to be with me.
I had so much fun this year, I can’t believe that summer’s here.
I got to sing and dance and play, because you gave your time.
I gained so much confidence, because you cheered me on.
Now the time has come sadly, for me to say goodbye.
But your spirit will be with me, forever, all the time.

(This poem was written for the parent volunteers in my son's Kindergarten Class at Carrillo Elementary. I ran out of time to make them some photo mini albums, so I stamped a card and wrote this poem instead. I hope they like it.)

-- Unknown     Submitted by Christina Williams

Happy New Year Thank You
submitted by Rachel Altemus

We call and we email, we ask for your time
And you give of it so generously, never expecting a dime
Be it raining or snowing or at the last minute, you always come through
This program would be nothing without each of you
We express our thanks, just as often as we can
Please know that we, the Volunteer Services Department, are your biggest fans
You hock balloons and heart tattoos
You bring joy to many patients, who are singing the blues
You provide a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on
You become a familiar face, one families know they can rely on
You provide rides and shopping, which are no small feats
Because no matter what, we all have to eat
You wash windows and clothing, for the caregivers so tired
Walk dogs and play games, help get TVs re-wired
The list could simply go on and on
But it seems only right, that I move this along
So on behalf of Volunteer Services we offer a gift to you, our volunteers Sent with the warmest of wishes for a happy new year

-- Unknown     Submitted by Rachel Altemus

Gifts of Time
written and submitted by Susan Greig
Partners in Care Family Liaison at BC Children's Hospital

Both night and day
you've given of your time
To make this hospital a better place
Every family here has benefited
And your efforts can never be erased

We send this note to tell you
That we are aware and all agree
Your gifts of time--large or small
Are special ones indeed!

-- Unknown     Submitted by Susan Greig

YWCA Volunteers
written and submitted by Barbara Armitage

Our city’s problems are many
Solutions seem painfully few
It’s so easy to find yourself wailing
“Where to start; there’s too much to do.”

Yet for one group the answer seems simple
Their direction is always quite clear
They reach out their hands when the need comes
They’re first to volunteer.

The common vision they work for
Encompasses folks one and all
Peace, justice, freedom, and dignity
No matter how helpless or small.

They serve in a myriad of venues
That’s the most essential piece of this pie
No matter how young or how worldly
No matter how educated or spry.

Some help sell the dumplings in August
Some work our correspondance or books
Some keep us apprised of legislation
Some help in the kitchen and cook

They work to keep women off welfare
And so children will have school supplies
They organize home tours and golf games
See the world through the most needy eyes.

Some organize bulbs with pink ribbons
While others drive meals on the go
Some raise our racial conscience
Lend a hand to  Help Me Grow

Whether working for Appleseed Project               
Fund raising street to street; door to door 
They willingly do with a smile
What others might consider a bore

Some serve on the Board—on committees
Schedule classes for young girls and boys
No talent to small or too simple
Each volunteer act increases all joys.

So tonight I acknowledge your efforts
And in your honor proudly raise cheers
May God Bless you one and all
Our Wonderful  V O L U N T E E R S !    

-- Unknown     Submitted by Barbara Armitage

Secret (Volunteer) Service
Submitted by Elizabeth Ellis

How to make an impact today!
Open a door for someone
Pick up a piece of paper left on the street
Say "Good Morning" to someone you don't know
Plug someone else's meter
Say "thank you" to the mailman
Give the next person in line at the grocery store your leftover coupons
Keep shoveling snow after your sidewalk ends
Truly listen to someone
Say "good job" for a job well done
Recycle
Donate your used clothes and toys
Make a cake for your fellow employees for no reason
Join a committee
Let someone else go first in line
Give your used magazines away
Note good service on your waiter's ticket
Send a hand written note of thanks to a volunteer for no particular reason
Say "Have a great evening" to the night watchperson
Switch seats with someone on the plane if they've been separated by a family member or friend
Print on both sides of the page
Pretend your Monday at work is a Friday!
Refer a potential volunteer to another agency who might better fulfill a volunteer's interests and passion
Mentor a new volunteer coordinator
Bring your receptionist a treat just because
Wave to children on the bus
Walk, take the bus or ride your bike to work
Learn about a new organization and how they engage volunteers and community
Put flowers on your desk
Don't "almost" make a difference, do something today!

-- Unknown     Submitted by Elizabeth Ellis

Your Name Is Volunteer
Written and submitted by Nancy Jo Grim

Your name is love, because you showed me love and compassion when I needed it the most.
Your name is patience, because you took time to listen to me when my stories were long and my heart was heavy.
Your name is kindness, because you used your healing hands to touch my pain and guide me when I was lost.
Your name is mentor, because you taught me the lessons that life cannot teach so soon.
Your name is a volunteer, you are love, patience, kindness, a mentor and so much more…
We celebrate you the volunteer.
 

Submitted by Nancy Jo Grim

Protégé
Written and submitted by Noble Allen
P -Receives the wisdom passed on from voices of experience
R -Relieved that a mentor provides me with a boost over the great expectation fence
O -Over the bumps of numerous tasks we have come
T -Having someone to talk to during and when the day is done
E -At times making the difficult seem a little bit easier
G -Changing my Gray skies into blue skies when the day becomes even busier.
E -Eager to see this school year end – ‘but’ with zeal in my heart to try it all over again.

-- Unknown     Submitted by Noble Allen

Thank You! Volunteers
Written and submitted by Noble Allen
V   You show up, the very moment we need you most,
O   You look for opportunities to expand our learning coast.
L   You are listening when soft words are being spoken.
U   You understand and work to keep our hearts from being broken.
N   Never is a word you remove from your mouth,
T   Let’s take this to another level-even if we’re located in the South.
E   Everything is possible-You help us to believe.
E   Even despite all odds-our talented students will highly achieve.
R   You rise to the occasion-that is without a doubt-
Our Parent Volunteers-We can never do without!!!

-- Unknown     Submitted by Noble Allen

First Day of School!
Written and submitted by Barbara Brady

It’s that time of year again,
Time to go to school. 
I’m going to learn all kinds of things,
And study all the rules!
 
I have some brand new clothes to wear,
And shoes that are clean and white,
My hair is cut, my nails are clean,
I think I look “just right”.  
 
I know I’ll meet new people,
I hope that they’ll like me. 
It’s scary going off to school,
It is the first day, you see! 
 
I hope the teacher is friendly,
And shows me what to do. 
I hope she’s glad I’m in her class,
I think I’ll like her, too!
 
I’m scared that I will get real lost,
And totally lose my way,
Or need to find the bathroom,
I hope it’s not far away.   
 
I hope the food at school is good,
The kind I like to eat,
I hope I get to sit with friends,
Maybe they’ll save a seat!
 
I think the day will go quite fast,
When it’s done I’ll give a cheer!
I plan to make a difference,
Since I’m a volunteer!  

-- Unknown     Submitted by Barbara Brady

And Then There Was a Smile
Written and submitted by Laurie Eytel, CVA
 
A parent came with a burden to bear
They came looking for guidance
And perhaps a kind word
 
You saw their challenge
And decided to help
Your caring voice opened a door
 
A child came looking quite sad
And then another, with defiance
And you welcomed them all
 
They all came with stories
Which were all unique
You offered your help – and you listened
 
You may have provided a meal
You may have provided gifts
You may have provided guidance
 
You may have worked behind the scenes
But slowly a change came about
The mood seemed lighter
 
And then there was a smile,
Maybe first from you
Then maybe from a child, a parent
 
It made all the difference to those you touched, The child, the parent looked to you And then there was a smile!
 
Thank you for the smiles you provide!
 
Author Laurie Eytel notes "[These are} two "poems" I wrote to recognize our volunteers and partners who volunteer with our Fairfax County Department of Family Services Children, Youth and Families Division."

-- Unknown     Submitted by Laurie Eytel, CVA

A thank you speech for volunteers

You make a difference in the dash.

Life is short. In the scheme of things this oft quoted saying must be true. Our planet has been here for millions of years - our universe billions.

On our headstones will be the etching of when we were born and the date when we died. For example 1960 - 2050.

What matters to me are not the two years mentioned. It is the dash. That little dash. That's our life. That represents to me the short time we have, here, to make a difference, or not.

And making a difference means so many different things to so many people.

But for you, the volunteer, what you do during that dash is most significant.

You can give me money for my cause. Sure. But I may pay that back to you. Say you give a dollar a month. It is appreciated without doubt. It is your dollar. However you may pick it up elsewhere. Something extra you do. Some other way of earning that buck. But how do we give back time?

As a volunteer you give time. Time. The most precious resource in our lives.

Look at the dash. How many hours are in there? It's not billions. It's not infinite. Money can be printed. Time cannot.

Once you give an hour of your time it is lost forever. That hour you just gave volunteering will never be replicated.

Your time volunteering must be valued but we can never put a value on that time. How can you value something that is priceless?

As a volunteer you bring much to this organisation. Skills, advice, experience, friendship, vision, leadership, inspiration etc. That you bring. But time you give. In our time poor world you bear the gift of time. You choose to donate the most precious commodity in the known universe.

We may count your time in numbers. We may attempt to count your time in cash value. Though such methods have their reasons we will all be poorer if we don't realize that the giving of your time is simply and utterly magnificent.

So today, we take a little time out to thank you for the amazing "time in" that you give. Truly, thanks for your time!

-- Unknown     Submitted by DJ Cronin

I Think...I Know
 
I think & I see how good you are
I know I don't have to look that far
 
I think you are amazing for you help kids, moms & dads I know it's true, a better group cannot be had
 
I think the families know it too
I know it in the way they look at you
 
I think I learn from all of you each day I know it's a fact, in more than just one way
 
But wait, it's not just ME that says "thanks with a smile"
It's ALL of us, because you go that extra mile!
 
YOU are the BEST - You make this program what it is.
Thank you from ALL of us! This evening is for you.

-- Unknown     Submitted by Laurie Eytel, CVA

If I can stop one heart from breaking;
 I shall not live in vain.
If I can ease one life the aching,
 or cool one pain,
or help one fainting robin onto his nest again;
I shall not live in vain.

-- Emily Dickinson     Submitted by Katie Tweten

Thank You For Your Precious Gift
(For Volunteers at a Long Term Care Facility)

In our world where we come and go,
At a lightning pace and cannot go slow;
Time is such a rare commodity,
And care can seem like such an oddity!

The simple act of a loving touch,
And words of care can do so much;
To ease the soul of those who need;
A listening ear or a hand to feed.

While some minds may seem to wander so;
Though they do not have too far to go;
Every one of our residents say;
They love the folks who make their day:

Just a little bight lighter,
And a little bit brighter;
Blessed with hope and joy to live;
Thanks to the love a volunteer gives.

There is nothing on this Earth to compare,
To the selfless gift of time and care,
That volunteers give to all folk here,
Day after day, and year after year!

-- Unknown     Submitted by Daria Skibington-Roffel for Volunteer Week

Dream Chasers

They are our dream chasers
Reaching high towards the sky
Always believing they can make it happen
Never saying nigh.
They help us climb tall mountains
Navigating the compass along the way
Taking us to new and exciting places
Never leading us astray.
They help us build strong communities
Wrapping families in their arms
Seeing the many opportunities
Forever working hard.
They number many these volunteers
They have given so much to us
How do we show our gratitude?
Thanks...just doesn't seem enough.

-- Unknown     Submitted by Beckie Evans, Coordinator of Volunteers, Peterborough Family Resource Centre

Thank you for holding my hand last night.
You warmed my heart as well.
Thankful your here with me in this plight
I fear I'm stuck in this shell.

I heard you reading and singing to me.
I felt as light as air.
My body was swaying so freely.
Our friendship is so rare.

Thank you for spending your time with me.
A choice that you have made.
It makes a difference to my family,
A memory that won't fade.

-- Unknown     Submitted by Polly Bjorkquist

The Volunteers' Prayer

Lord may you smile upon me
That I with an open heart give
My time and help my fellow man
By doing what I can, with love
Lord may you be pleased with me
And let me be aware
To not judge others
But to feel joy in giving care
Lord let me always know
That each little act of kindness
And the small tasks I do
Are acts of grand proportions
And are reflections of you
Thank you Lord for letting me have
In my heart, soul and mind
The wisdom and the knowledge
Of the power of being kind
And thank you for the opportunity
that I encounter every day
To give my smile or kind word
To empower anothers' way
For we are all linked to each other
And with your grace from heaven above
Guide me to follow your footsteps
And shine through my heart and life
Your love

 

-- Unknown     Submitted by Teri Fernandez-Mitchell

Celestial Celebration

I need my new dew flowers,
Full of fragrance and bowers,
Full of silence and towers,
Full of devotion with love showers.

So, it is time to celebrate
And our mild mood turns inebriate,

May Lord bless all!
With all blessings to sing long
As my journey is full of songs
To remain and refrain from thorn.

Submitted by N. Karthikeyan Osho

The 20 minute chair

I have in my office, right near my door,
a regular old chair, nothing much more.

As a volunteer guide, I find that more often than not,
that chair seems to be just the right spot.

For co-workers, friends, those right off the street
but most important of all those who must rest their feet.

The volunteers that I have find comfort, compassion, laughter and more,
in that chair that I have right by my door.

For 20 minutes a piece, those folks seem to love,
the comfort it gives, more than the heaven’s above.

It could be a joy or sorrow, pleasure or pain,
or sometimes it’s just gossip simple and plain.

Not a day does go by when my chair is not taken,
the stories it hears cannot be mistaken!

The stranger, the longer, the more passionate it seems,
their stories become with faces that beam.

Now I love my volunteers as my family here,
but work seems to stop when “plop” goes their rear.

Mary who loves her dog and praises me as her outlet to life
and Peter who comes at the behest of his wife.

Fran who sings for the nursing home floor,
“old folks”, he calls them and he’s 94!

Dave is a youngster, who started out as a teen,
and plans on volunteering for all time unforeseen.

Syl and her dog who come every week,
Maggie is wagging and prancing her feet.

The lady whose family’s forgotten about
is here twice a week (or more than I can count!)

The teens that come in all summer, excited by what they’ve seen,
are off back to school but that chair is not empty… (if you know what I mean.)

The chair by my door is a welcome abode
to those who give of their time, talent all down the road.

When they sit in that chair there’s a connection they feel between them and me,
and that’s why, that chair’s going to be…

Right by my door for 20 minutes a time,
hearing all those volunteer stories with or without reason or rhyme.

Submitted by Julie Chrysler

Volunteer's Creed

Though my troubles and my worries
are sometimes all that I can see -
still I always must remember
life's not only about me.

Other souls are also hurting
and I know that it's God's plan
to reach out to help another -
to extend them my hand.

With this purpose as my focus -
to be a comfort to a friend -
all my troubles and my worries
seem to fade out in the end.

It is one of God's true lessons -
how my walk is meant to be -
true happiness I find when
life's not only about me.

-- Unknown     Submitted by Tom Krause, www.coachkrause.com

It Only Takes A Moment

It only takes a moment
to reach out to be a friend,
but to the one who needs you
the memory never ends.

A simple act of kindness
to a person you don't know
may plant a seed of friendship
that for them will always grow.

We sometimes lose perspective
of the difference we can make,
when we care more of our giving
and care less of what we take.

So remember that your actions
may help change a life someday.
Always think about the person
that you meet along the way.

For it only takes a moment
to reach out to be a friend,
but to the one who needs you
the memory never ends.

-- Unknown     Submitted by Tom Krause, www.coachkrause.com

An Ode to our Volunteers!

No matter the day or the month or the year
Our volunteers are always here

To help with the elderly the confused or the sick
Our volunteers know they have been hand picked!

A warm friendly smile, and reassuring voice,
is the best dressed volunteer’s accessory of choice

You wear brightly coloured costumes; you wear blue, coral and red,
You even wag your tail when people….. pat your heads.(St John Therapy Dog Program)

You often see what others do not, you can understand what people sometimes just want,

A little compassion goes a long way
You genuinely help people with their hospital stay.

You are our "ear to the ground" so to speak, it is your caring that everyone seeks.

We see you on every floor all areas and more, ED ( ER) , OPD, Cancer Clinic and the Lab
in Mamo, the Mail, flower care and , gift shop too
Pre Surgical Screening, Information Desks all of these and more who knew?

TeaTime, Meal Time , Music Time, Craft Time, Cuddlers. and floats,
Ortho Clinics, Library, baby clinics, ICU, and visiting you always raise hope!

You help brighten lives a little at a time,
offering a book, or a candy, lending an ear is all so kind.

You do things at home to help those in need,
Knitting and sewing you are up to speed,

Unique and fun items the crafter can do
fancy table runners and scarves to name a few

The patients are cozy thanks to your care, they are all so grateful
their feet and their laps are not bare!

And you also take pride and great efforts in doing their Hair!

Achievements in fundraising, you all should be proud; the goals you have reached rise higher than clouds.

Time is precious this is all true, with many other commitments we know we are only a part of what you do

We know you are busy, with family and friends your volunteering spirit knows no end.

You seldom say no, you often do more……so now it is time to thank you a bunch
and enough of me talking lets have lunch!

I wrote this poem for our wonderful hospital volunteers at our annual recognition luncheon March 2012

 

-- Unknown     Submitted by Debbie Weir

I love to help its kindness
bringing love and finesse
like a rose brings beauty
charm and graceful duty
giving time is a pearl
deep as the ocean
with every healing motion
to take care of someone in need
is a loving seed
that grows and grows
with hearts filled with loving bows.

-- Unknown     Submitted by JoyAnne O'Donnell

We All Need Someone to Be There
By Judy Kilgore

Planting the seed,
To help the need
Being a friend,
Prayers and hope to send
Not walking away,
But trying to stay
Not turning away,
No matter what day
Being there,
No matter where
Giving hugs,
Instead of tugs
Not pushing aside,
Getting to know the person inside
We are all human,
Sometimes we just need a hand
It can do so much
So take the time,
Everyone gets in a bind
Let’s all show random acts of kindness,
No matter how big or small
We’re all in need of
Someone to care,
We all need someone to be there

-- Unknown     Submitted by Judy Kilgore

Volunteers Cast a Beautiful Shadow
By Lesley Dunn, Executive Director
The Dartmouth Learning Network

Each day as the sun begins to rise
The earth is warmed by rays so fine
And as we pause and drink warmth in
We see our shadows start to begin

As children we tried to runaway
From the lingering soul that accompanied us each day
As years went by we then understood
That to see our shadow was a sign of good

Now often when we volunteer
The impact of our work is seldom near
Yet like our shadow that lingers close
Our collective efforts continue to bring hope

For 28 years our mission has been met
By volunteers who will not forget
To be unable to read is a dark cloud in the sky
As our volunteers you will not idly stand by

And as the sun in the sky does climb
Our shadow lengthens over time
Always there, a comfort to see
Bringing hope eternal to those in need

We are the sun, you are the rays
Warming life in so many ways
You are the reason we continue to be
An advocate for literacy

Thank you to all our Volunteers in Recognition of National Volunteer Week 2013
From the Staff and Learners
The Dartmouth Learning Network

-- Unknown     Submitted by Lesley Dunn

We post quotables by newest submissions first.

"You Didn't Call This Morning"
In Jacksonville Florida, a volunteer was late in making her daily call to an elderly person living alone. The volunteer received a call from the elderly person who said, "You didn't call this morning." The volunteer replied, "I was about to call." To this the elderly person replied, "Then I will hang up and let you call back because if you don't call the PHONE WON'T RING TODAY."
 

-- Unknown     Submitted by Reverend Gene Parks

The Source of Her Energy
There was an enthusiastic 70 year old woman in Montcalm County who came to the training for volunteers with a smile that took in the world. Other volunteers seemed to gravitate towards her at breaks, and I wondered at her energy that seemed to fill the room. She came up to me at the end of the training on building self esteem in children and said, "You know I get up every morning just glad to be alive. I go out and work with children for twenty hours a week. I can't wait to get there and be with them. When I'm with those children I forget that I am dying of cancer."
 

-- Unknown     Submitted by Vallery Mann, Gerontology Network, Michigan, Kent

Don't Need Those Little Pins
Sophie was a volunteer in Disaster Response for the Red Cross. For 30 years she would grumble when invited to recognition celebrations. "Don't need that foolishness," she'd say. "Don't need those little pins. People don't need to make a fuss." Sophie passed away and many people attended her funeral. She had an open casket,and, to the surprise of all attending, in the casket was a red velvet ribbon with every one of her hours pins that she had accumulated during during her many years of volunteering pinned on it. So don't give up when volunteers say that they don't want you to make a fuss over them. You just never know.
 

-- Unknown     Submitted by Kathy Cunningham, Manager, Volunteer Services, The Johns Hopkins Hospital

It's 1 AM!
A story I heard recently at a Lions Club meeting: The Lions Club supports an Eye Bank in Washington and Idaho; the Eye Bank performs over 400 cornea transplants each year. Frequently donated corneas from deceased persons must be specially packed and delivered by bus or train to the donor's location, requiring a volunteer to pick up the package and deliver it to the hospital. One night, the program coordinator was desperate; she had a package on a bus to Spokane and no one to pick it up. She frantically called the list of emergency volunteers...it was after 1am.

She reached a very sleepy man and explained what she needed. The irritated man told her that yes, he had volunteered to be on the contact list, but had specified afternoons and evenings before 8pm, and in good weather only. "It's 1am and it's snowing here!" he protested. "I'll do it just this one, but please, don't ever call me again." He got up, and as he was getting dressed, his 13-year-old son came out and asked what he was doing. When he learned that dad had to "run an errand", he asked to go along.

They drove in silence through the snow to the bus station, picked up the package, and drove it to the hospital. On the trip home, the son asked what the package had been. Dad explained that it was tissue from the eyes of someone who had died, and that tissue was going to help someone else see again. The boy digested that for a moment, then said, "Gee, Dad, I never knew you did such important things!" The next day, the man called the coordinator back. "You can call me anytime you need to," he said.
 

-- Donna Oiland, Lions Eye Bank employee     Submitted by Samantha Bowes, Director of Business/Community Relations, South District; YMCA of Greater Seattle

Pay Volunteers?
As the Coordinator for Volunteer Services for SA Ambulance Service, I had a brief discussion with our Chief Executive Officer at a Christmas dinner function last year. It suddenly occurred to me, that we could never every pay our volunteers . . . because they are absolutely priceless!
--The dinner was to congratulate new Ambulance Officers and recognise all Officers for their dedication and committment over the past 12 months.
 

-- Unknown     Submitted by Helen Elix, South Australian Ambulance Service

Beyond Power and Wealth
I recently came across this from a speech given by Dr. Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the UK, and I thought others might find it interesting and inspiring.

“Imagine that you have total power, and you decide to share it with nine other people. How much do you have left? One tenth of what you began with.”

“Imagine you have a sum of money, and you decide to share it with nine other people. How much do you have left? One tenth of what you began with.”

“Now suppose you have a certain amount of love or friendship or influence or ideals and you decide to share those with nine other people, and you do share them, do you have more or less than you began with? You probably have ten times as much.”

“It follows immediately from this little exercise in arithmetic that power and wealth will always generate conflict. The more of them I have, the less of them you have, and the more I give you, the less I have. Therefore governments and markets are mediated arenas of conflict: the one mediated by democratic elections, the other mediated by market and exchange. But those other covenantal areas of love, friendship, trust, marriage, loyalty, faithfulness, they are not arenas of conflict. And now we can say what is created and
distributed in our houses of worship, and in communities, neighbourhoods, voluntary organisations, above all in the family: namely, spiritual goods.”

“And now we can also say precisely what has gone wrong in our social ecology in the past 50 years. We made a simple, well-intentioned assumption. But a wrong one. Namely, that there are only two institutions that can deal with social problems, either the state or the market. Some on the left prefer the state, some on the
right prefer the market, but on the most fundamental point they both agree, and they are both wrong, namely that the state and market are all there is.”

“So what else is there? To which the answer is, there are families, congregations, faith communities, fellowships, neighbourhoods, voluntary organisations - all of which are bigger than the individual, but smaller than the state. They operate on a different logic.”

“Families and communities are held together not by the coercive use of power, not by the contractual mechanisms of exchange, but by love, loyalty, faithfulness and mutuality: being there for one another when we need one another. I call them "third-sector" institutions. And without that third sector, there will be problems that neither
governments nor markets can solve.”
 

-- Unknown     Submitted by Rob Jackson, Officer (Regional Fundraising) Royal National Institute for the Blind, England

Always Remembered
My husband worked many hours as a volunteer at the nursing home where I worked as the recreation director (we are caucasian). There was an 86 year-old African-American lady who, despite her dementia diagnosis, had gotten my husband into her long term memory. Hattie always talked about Cab Calloway, expressing how much she enjoyed his music and telling us that her grandson played with Cab Calloway (no, he probably didn't, but who knows). When I saw an article in the paper that Cab Calloway had died, I showed it to Hattie. She said, "Oh, Lord. Where's your husband?" I called my husband and asked him to come to the nursing home because Hattie was asking for him. When my husband arrived, Hattie showed him the newspaper. He responded that he knew how much Hattie thought of Cab Calloway and how much she enjoyed his music. Hattie said, "Well, it's time you knew. That's your real father."
 

-- The Manor at Blue Water Bay Nursing Home     Submitted by Lori Pyers-Goodwin, Director of Community Education

An Inspiration
I am an AmeriCorps*VISTA at a local elementary school in Clay County West Virginia. One of my volunteers is a very dedicated grandmother. Her daughter works so she has picked up the volunteering at the grandson's school. She is wonderful. Both her and her husband volunteer and her daughter volunteers when she can. This woman was in a very serious car accident last school year. She now has to wear a very stiff back brace. She is always in constant pain but she never complains, she is always at the school helping in the office. She is the Vice President of the PTO. She is still really active. It is such an inspiration to me to look at her and see that she hasn't given up. She still knows what she needs to do to make her grandsons education a real success.
 

-- Unknown     Submitted by Beth Anderson, AmeriCorps*VISTA, West Virginia

Looking Past Your Own Pain
I met a dreamer-catcher in the most unusual way. I was sitting in my office in the basement of the Hospital, far away from patients, when I got this request. "Lisa can you come up to Turner 4 to speak with a patient? I went to the room they were calling from and there sat a women hooked up to her chemotherapy drip. She was so happy that I had taken time to come and speak with her. Through her battle with cancer she kept wondering how she could give back for all the kindness and caring she had received. This patient was also a professor at the local College, so she was wondering if she could bring her students in to volunteer? We came up with a group project for her freshman class that needed to complete community service requirements. They planned and implemented a weekly activities session for our rehabilitation unit. Evenings of games, refreshments and craft projects were organized. Patients benefited greatly from the opportunities to socialize and participate in rehabilitative recreation. Through all this- their fearless leader went through more chemotherapy and reconstructive surgery, yet always stayed focused on how she could help others and inspire her students to do the same! She was a dreamer that didn't let her own problems stop her from reaching out and helping others
 

-- Unknown     Submitted by Lisa Coble, Newport Hospital Manager of Volunteer Services, Newport RI

The Greatest Gift I ever Gave, and Received
I sat in Mia's tiny second floor bedroom, as I had every Thursday afternoon for the past year--I, Mia's hospice volunteer, and she, my 37-year-old hospice patient, dying of a rare blood disease. We talked, as we always did, of Mia's 18-year-old son and his most recent antics. We watched the Young and the Restless. I lit Mia's cigarettes, carefully making sure the ashes didn't fall and burn her T-shirt. "Do you want to write in your Memory book this week, Mia?" "No," she quietly replied. "Not this week." As our visit was ending and I was getting ready to leave, Mia, somewhat anxiously, commented on the two bracelets I was wearing on my right wrist, the same two bracelets I had been wearing on my right wrist, every day, for the last 15 years--my cherishe "button bracelets," one gold and one silver, given to me by my parents when I graduated from college. "Sally, those bracelets are so pretty, so different-let me try one on-please?" Without hesitation, I "unbuttoned" my silver bracelet and fastened it on Mia's thin and fragile wrist. Mia held her wrist up to her eyes and began to cry. "Mia, what is it, why are you crying, what's wrong?" "This is the nicest present anyone has ever given me." Mia tearfully said. "Thank you, Sally. Thank you so much. I'll never-ever-take it off." My stomach felt tight and my heart began to beat uncomfortably fast. Present? What was Mia thinking? I gave her my bracelet to try on, NOT to keep. But she's crying, she's so happy; I can't take it from her now.... I gave Mia a big hug and told her I would be honored for her to keep my bracelet, and wear it, and never take it off. I then turned and left, walked down the stairs and out the front door, never to return again. Mia died before my next visit. That last day with Mia, we gave gifts to each other, though I didn't know it at the time. I gave Mia my most cherished button bracelet, a piece of me, to keep close to her as she took her final steps from this world to the next. In turn, Mia gave me the gift of Living. For, everyday, when I look at my single gold button bracelet, alone on my right wrist, I think of Mia. I think about how life is limited and can be taken from us well before we are ready to leave it. I remember to live every day as if it were my last, without regrets and to the fullest. To Mia, I thank you......
 

-- Sally Hess, Johns Hopkins Hospice Volunteer     Submitted by Jean McHale, Volunteer Coordinator, Johns Hopkins Home Hospice

staff meeting discussing building security and workplace violence. He was with his job counselor, and they were to interview with me for a possible volunteer position. I had previously asked about skills, and this particular volunteer brought a sample of his handiwork. He brandish a huge machete-type knife that he had made out of car bumpers. Our Human Resources director was passing by my office just as he held up the knife. Unknown to me, immediately there was a clustering at the end of the hall to decide what should be done. I later advised the job counselor that the next time they visit a public building, they should leave anything that looks like a weapon behind!

-- Unknown     Submitted by Paula Anderson, Coordinator of Volunteer Services; City of Grand Junction, Colorado, USA

Just a Little Can Make A Difference in Another's Life...and in Your Own
Many years ago, while I was employed full time at a busy job, and also being a newly married lady, I gave of my time, talent and energy at a mental institution in our town. The joy I found and the satisfaction I felt was overwhelming. At first it was somewhat scary to be in this environment, never having had anyone compromised in this way in my family circle or circle of friends--but I had a reason for doing this.

I learned from this valuable time how to deal and cope with these situations and how to work with them. I volunteered in a locked-up environment which was also overwhelming at first.

To my surprise, I found out that a friend of my parents from many years back was a resident of this facility, and that when I was a baby, this lady had wanted to keep me as she was unable to have children. I brought this lady up to date with pictures, brought her special items and brought her up to current times. The time came when she was able to piece things together, and she said to me one day "please dear, you should not come here, as this is not a place for you," but I wanted to bring something into this lady's life. Together, after much time, we had closed up the years. I was told that she would have been able to be released from the facility, but because she had no family to go to, she couldn't leave. But I did bring her to my home on two occasions for afternoon refreshments, and I saw the joy of this lady "feeling a part of life." I have never forgotten this volunteering experience. This lady later passed away but I have the fulfillment in my life of having done just a little to make a difference in the life of one person.

I felt so humbled by this, and I give all thanks and praise to my Lord for directing me, and for my mother telling me the story of why this lady was where she was. I was the volunteer and this is the story as best I recall it.
 

-- Unknown     Submitted by Sylvia Jones

A Lion Amoung Lambs
As a member of the Lions Clubs International, the world's largest service organization, I am part of a team responsible (in Pennsylvania)to educate fellow Lions on how to recruit, retain and expand membership. Five years ago, in a seminar, I was asked how I became a volunteer. After a moment I stated that I thought I was born a volunteer, thanks to my parents and grandparents. My husband and his family can say the same. Their community involvement in the volunteer fire department and churches was only part of it. The most important teaching tool was they they did the right thing by their families and friends. Odd jobs, cooking a meal, driving elders to appointments or for groceries...my family did it all, and so did we, their children. Now their grandchildren and greats are sharing the same sense of "doing the right thing". My 22 year career with a hospice program has allowed me to accomplish some of those gracious tasks.
 

-- Unknown     Submitted by Gayle Padfield

The Greatest Gift of all Time is Time
For a fulltime worker and mother of three, it seems unlikely that one would take time out of his or her busy schedule to volunteer, but Hope Cooper believes volunteering is a part of her civic duty. Hope Cooper, a resident of Richmond, Virginia, serves as the scholarship chairperson for Varina High School Parent-Teacher-Student Association (PTSA). Cooper’s role as the scholarship chairperson consists of her creating a scholarship application to reward a deserving Varina High School senior with a scholarship for college. Cooper says, “I usually rush to the PTSA meetings right after I leave my fulltime job, but it is important for me to be there. Following the meeting, I have to rush home and cook dinner for my own children.”

None of Cooper’s children attend Varina High School, but she says, “Volunteering is not all about benefiting the people you know best, but it’s about helping those complete stranger who need you most.” Cooper chose to volunteer for Varina as the scholarship chairperson because she understands the condition of the economy is discouraging students from pursing a higher institution of learning. Cooper stated that she no longer views her task as the scholarship chairperson as volunteer work, but she believe it’s her obligation to lift some financial stress off of at least one family. Cooper says “I have a daughter that will go off to college in two years, and I can empathize with those parents who want to send their child off to college but just can’t afford it. What do they tell their children?” She says although she cannot help out every student, helping out one deserving student is rewarding.

Cooper says that volunteering makes a difference in the community; “It’s one of those things that leaves you with a good feeling.” Cooper states that volunteering does not only make a difference in the community, but it changed her perspective on what is important in life. It reminded her that the world is much bigger than her. She encourages everyone to find something that they are passionate about and become involved in it. Cooper says that volunteer work may seem simple to one but means so much to those who are affected by it. Cooper plans to continue volunteering and to get her children more involved.
 

-- Unknown     Submitted by Dianna Murchison