Quotes about Helping/Service to Others

Share your favorite quotes about volunteers and volunteering so that others can add a spark to their presentations!  Also look at the other categories of "Quotables":  poems, humor, songs, stories, and parables.

We post quotables by newest submissions first.

In about the same degree as you are helpful, you will be happy.

-- Karl Reiland     Submitted by Ed Madara, Director, American & NJ Group Self-Help Group Clearinghouses

Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve...You don't have to know the secod theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.

-- Martin Luther King     Submitted by Several people

The greatest poverty that can afflict the human spirit is the loss of a generous heart. You will know that success has slipped away when your passion for helping others grows cold.

-- Bill Lane Doulos     Submitted by Dena Spanos-Hawkey

In proportion as one renders service he becomes great.

-- Booker T. Washington     Submitted by Dena Spanos-Hawkey

I feel the greatest reward for doing is the opportunity to do more.

-- Jonas Salk     Submitted by Dena Spanos-Hawkey

Go out and do something for somebody. Go out and give something to somebody. It will take you away from yourself and make you happy.

-- Joseph Jefferson     Submitted by Lynne Ferrell

Happiness is thinking of myself; joy is thinking of others.

Submitted by Raymond

Our good works are like stones cast into the pool of time; though the stones themselves may disappear, their ripples extend to eternity.

Submitted by Heidi

You must give some time to your fellow man. Even if it's a little thing, do something for which you get not pay but the privilege of doing it.

-- Albert Schweitzer     Submitted by Jacki Lansman

If you want happiness for an hour -- take a nap. If you want happiness for a day -- go fishing. If you want happiness for a month -- get married. If you want happiness for a year -- inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime -- help someone else.

-- Chinese Proverb     Submitted by Jacki Lansman

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.

-- Edmond Burke     Submitted by Jackie Bowers, The Salvation Army - Territorial Volunteer Services Director - Central Territory, Illinois

Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can.

-- John Wesley     Submitted by Jenny Gerard, United Way, Georgia, USA

Not being able to do everything is no excuse for not doing everything you can.

-- Ashleigh Brilliant     Submitted by Mike Corbin, Membership Chair, Metropolitan Detroit Volunteer Administration Network

Plant flowers in others' gardens and your life becomes a bouquet!

Submitted by Lisa Letto, Coordinator, Nutrition Resource and Volunteer Centre, College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan, Canada

I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy, I woke and I saw that life is all service. I served and I saw that service is joy.

-- Rabindranath Tagore     Submitted by Stacey Claire M. Carantit, Volunteer Coordinator - Conestoga View Nursing Home, Lancaster, PA

Refusing to ask for help when you need it is refusing someone the chance to be helpful.

Submitted by Lorena Poppe, Program Coordinator, Pride, Inc., North Dakota

I am only one, but still I am one;  I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.

-- Edward Hale     Submitted by Amy Charpentier, Stetson University Circle K International President, Stetson University, Florida

First, there's the job-where the goal is simply to earn a living and support your family. Then there's the career--where you trace your progress through various appointments and achievements. Finally, there's the calling-- the ideal blend of activity and character that makes work inseparable from life.

-- Robert Bella     Submitted by Marcia Ferris, Program Manager w/ NSSC, Brainerd MN USA

If you ever need a helping hand, it is at the end of your arm. As you get older you must remember you have a second hand. The first one is to help yourself. The second hand is to help others.

-- Audrey Hepburn     Submitted by Ed Madara, Director, American & NJ Group Self-Help Group Clearinghouses

It is not enough to merely exist. It's not enough to say, 'I'm earning enough to live and support my family. I do my work well. I'm a good parent.' That's all very well. But you must do something more. Seek always to do some good, somewhere. Every person has to seek in his own way to make his own self more noble and to realize his own true worth. You must give some time to your fellow man. Even if it's a little thing, do something for those who have need of a man's help, something for which you get no pay but the privilege of doing it. For, remember, you don't live in a world all your own. Your brothers are here too. 

-- Albert Schweitzer Nobel Peace Prize winner, 1952     Submitted by Gene Budbill, Snohomish County Chapter, American Red Cross, Washington, USA

Help one another; there's no time like the present and no present like the time.

-- James Durst, poet/songwriter/troubadour     Submitted by Sarah H. Elliston, Sr Associate, Volunteer Resource Center , Cincinnati, OH, USA

Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day.

-- Sally Koch     Submitted by Terry Mack, Manger of Volunteer Resources, The Support Network, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

I have the audacity to believe that people everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits. I believe that what self-centered people have torn down, other-centered people can build up.

-- Martin Luther King     Submitted by John Richards, Aquinas College, Perth, Australia

Past the beggar and the suffering walks he who asks, 'Why, oh God, do you not do something for these people?' To which God replied, 'I did do something, I made you.'

-- Sufi saying     Submitted by Mike Corbin, Membership Chair, Metropolitan Detroit Volunteer Administration Network

A man never stands as tall as when he kneels to help a child.

-- Knights of Pythogoras     Submitted by Tara Huxley, Camp Director Boys and Girls Club Community Services of Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Noble deeds and hot baths are the best cures for depression. 

-- Dodie Smith     Submitted by Mike Corbin, Membership Chair, Metropolitan Detroit Volunteer Administration Network

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others.

-- Ghandi     Submitted by Jackie Lonning, Co-VP of Scheduling, Student M.O.V.E. (Mobilizing Outreach Volunteer Efforts), Storm Lake, IA, USA

One of the things I keep learning is that the secret of being happy is doing things for other people. 

-- Dick Gregory     Submitted by Linda Hutchinson, Volunteer Coordinator, Victim Services Program, Mountain Comprehensive Care Center, Kentucky USA

We are all like one-winged angels. It is only when we help each other that we can fly.

-- Luciano de Crescenzo     Submitted by Lori Ropa, American Water Works Association, Denver, CO USA

Life is never so busy that there is no time to serve.

Submitted by Sharon Tan

I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.

-- Albert Schweitzer     Submitted by Deborah Stroup, Coordinator of Volunteers, Wolfner Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

He who does nothing for others does nothing for himself

-- Goethe     Submitted by Susan E. Koch, Luther Crest Vol. Dir., PA.

Put yourself in someone's shoes" is a common phrase. But it is not a common thing that we do everyday. We are, most of the time, self-centred. Especially in this modern, fast-paced life. It is only when we stop for a moment and give our time to others, that we realise the true meaning of empathy. 

Submitted by Abdul Manan Bin Hassan, ASP, PRIS DEPT, Changi, Singapore

Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. 

-- Horace Mann     Submitted by Mike Corbin, Membership Chair, Metropolitan Detroit Volunteer Administration Network

You have not lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.

Submitted by Lisa Clegg, Coordinator, M.O.V.R.C. Foster Grandparents Program

Better one friend with a dish of food than a hundred with a sigh.

-- Yiddish Proverb     Submitted by Mike Corbin, Membership Chair, Metropolitan Detroit Volunteer Administration Network

It is one of the beautiful compensations of life, that no man can sincerely help another without helping himself.

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson     Submitted by Dominica Larkin, Volunteer Coordinator, The Duke of Edinburgh's Award, Canada

No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor is given by what he gave.

-- Calvin Coolidge     Submitted by Joe Hammontree, 4-H AmeriCorps VISTA, Shiawassee MSU Extension, Michigan, USA

To serve, not to be served.

-- The charge to service for AARP members from Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, AARP founder     Submitted by Carolyn Hunter, ASD, AARP Utah, USA

Success in life has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself. It's what you do for others.

-- Danny Thomas     Submitted by Jack Gomez, Girl Scounts of Shagbark Council, Illinois

Someone asked the anthropologist Margaret Mead (1901-1978), "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". 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?

Submitted by Leslie Paige

In order to motivate others, you must first become a source of motivation by yourself. It simply means that if you want to get anything done through others, you must first do it yourself.

-- Hazrat Ilyas Attar Qadri     Submitted by Muhammad Umer Attari

I always wondered why somebody didn't do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody.

-- Lily Tomlin     Submitted by Joyce Flaugher

[I am a co-creator], an active agent in this universe who makes things happen. If I want the world to change, I have to change it.

-- Danah Zohar     Submitted by Renee Harms

It wasn't the reward that mattered or the recognition you might harvest. It was your depth of commitment, your quality of service, the product of your devotion -- these were the things that counted in life. When you gave purely, the honor in giving, and that was honor enough.

-- Captain Scott O'Grady     Submitted by Kristyna

"Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth."

-- Muhammad Ali     Submitted by David Edwards

If you're watching to learn....Watch!
If you're watching for a break....Speak up!
If you're watching for me to stop....Leave!
If you're here to help....Grab a shovel!

-- Original Composition     Submitted by Suzanne Carroll

In doing your best serving others for free, a lot of eyebrows will raise and sneers will curve many a-faces. But in the end those incredulous to what you put up with to help, no longer matter. It's not between you and those snobs, but with whom you have given your hand to lift, and of course to God who is watching and noting it in your book.

-- Inspired by Mother Theresa     Submitted by Ding Franco

I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.

-- Albert Schweitzer     Submitted by Susie Kapelovitz