All Other Quotes

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.

"As long as we live; The future is bright; even if the road continues to be torturous!"

-- Asavela Peko     Submitted by Asavela Peko, Founder, Learner's Movement of South Africa, Delft    Cape Town, South Africa

Anything can be accomplished as long as you don't care who gets the credit.

-- Unknown     Submitted by Sue

Who then can so softly bind up the wound of another as he who has felt the same wound himself.

-- Thomas Jefferson     Submitted by Ed Madara, Director, American & NJ Group Self-Help Group Clearinghouses

The moral test of a society is how that society treats those who are in the dawn of life -- the children; those who are in the twilight of life -- the elderly; and those who are in the shadow of life -- the sick, the needy, and the handicapped.

-- Hubert Humphrey     Submitted by Barbara H.

It's not how high we jump off our feet in church, it's what we do with them when we hit the ground!

-- Governor Tom Ridge     Submitted by Redd Torres Eakin

Reach for the stars. You might not get them, but you won't wind up with a handful of mud either!

Submitted by Linda Gray-Mitchell

Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.

-- Marilyn Von Savant     Submitted by Carol Freed

If your ship doesn't come in. Swim out to it.

-- Jonathan Winters     Submitted by Paul Goebel

He who has never fallen knows no heights.

Submitted by Sabrina Mathusz

Whatever you can do, or dream you can... begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.

-- Goethe     Submitted by Joe Copeland

There aren't any great men. There are just great challenges that ordinary men like you and me are forced by circumstances to meet.

-- William f. Halsey, Jr.     Submitted by KA Felker

When people forget themselves, they usually do things others remember.

-- James Coco     Submitted by KA Felker

It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself.

-- Eleanor Roosevelt     Submitted by Nan Hawthorne

The only one who likes change is a wet baby!

Submitted by Theresa Osborne, Executive Secretary for the Women's Institutes of Nova Scotia

We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.

-- Martin Luther King     Submitted by Nancy Sutter, Volunteer Coordinator for Peel Children's Centre

Some people dream of worthy accomplishments while others stay awake and do them!

Submitted by Nancy Sutter, Volunteer Coordinator for Peel Children's Centre

Let each man be judged by his deeds, I have paid my price to live with myself on the terms that I willed.

-- Rudyard Kipling     Submitted by Nancy Sutter, Volunteer Coordinator for Peel Children's Centre

The gain a man witholds from his brother becomes his own deprivation.

Submitted by Karen McCumber

He who upsets a thing should know how to rearrange it.

-- Sierra Leonean Proverb     Submitted by John Stankiewicz, President, Northern Ohio Valley Area Search and Rescue, WV, USA

Give yourself fully to your endeavors. Decide to construct your character through excellent actions and determine to pay the price of a worthy goal. The trials you encounter will introduce you to your strengths.

-- Epictetus     Submitted by Cassie Diaz-Bello, Assistant Staff Counsel for the ABA Center for Pro Bono, Illinois USA

It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again because there is no effort without error and shortcomings, who knows the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows in the end the high achievement of triumph and who at worst, if he fails while daring greatly, knows his place shall never be with those timid and cold souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

-- Theodore Roosevelt     Submitted by Liz Mirzaian, Manager, Department of Volunteer Resources, California Science Center, Los Angeles, California

We are not called upon to do all the good possible, but only that which we can do.

-- Mother Theodore Guerin     Submitted by Cheryl Casselman, Providence Volunteer Ministry marketing associate, Indiana

Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.

-- Mark Twain     Submitted by Cindy McMahon, Coordinator, Volunteer Center of Asheville & Buncombe County, NC, US

All that is necessary for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing. 

-- Edmond Burke     Submitted by Elizabeth, KY/USA

We must view young people not as empty bottles to be filled, but as candles to be lit.

-- Robert H. Shaffer     Submitted by Tammy Herron, Director of Volunteers, American Red Cross, Kingsport Chapter, TN USA

Ain't Nothin' to It, But to Do it!

-- Maya Angelou     Submitted by Selena, Volunteer Illini Projects, Inc., IL

We cannot live for ourselves alone.Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads, and along these sympathetic fibers, our actions run as causes and return to us as results.

-- Herman Melville     Submitted by Phyllis J. Dorr, Volunteer and Intern Program Manager, Museum of Health

One is not born into the world to do everything but to do something. 

-- Henry David Thoreau     Submitted by Nan Hart, Director, RSVP and The Volunteer Center, Vermont, US

The measure of a life is not its duration, but its donation.

-- Peter Marshall     Submitted by Cynthia McClure, Ph.D, Clinical Director, Southwestern Virginia Mental Health Institute, Virginia

We can't do much about the length of our lives,  but we can do plenty about its width and depth.

-- Evan Esar     Submitted by Cynthia McClure, Ph.D, Clinical Director, Southwestern Virginia Mental Health Institute, Virginia

The main quality of courage! If you can dream it, you can do it! 


-- Walt Disney     Submitted by Bill Weller, Director, Partners in Self Sufficiency, Clearwater, Florida

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.

-- Helen Keller     Submitted by Robin McCartha, RSVP of Richland and Lexington Counties, SC/USA

Where apathy is the master, all men are slaves.

Submitted by Anonymous

Remember, we all stumble, every one of us. That's why it's a comfort to go hand in hand.

-- Emily Kimbrough     Submitted by Ed Madara, Director, American & NJ Group Self-Help Group Clearinghouses

To ease another's heartache is to forget one's own.

-- Abraham Lincoln     Submitted by Ed Madara, Director, American & NJ Group Self-Help Group Clearinghouses

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. 

-- Gandhi     Submitted by Devi Singh, India, AP (Hyderabad)

I have an almost complete disregard of precedent, and a faith in the possibility of something better. It irritates me to be told how things have always been done. I defy the tyranny of precedent. I go for anything new that might improve the past.

-- Clara Barton     Submitted by John Richards, Aquinas College, Perth, Australia

Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.

-- Emerson     Submitted by Linda Steed, Volunteer Coordinator, Long Term Care Ombudsman Program, Shawnee Alliance for Seniors

Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: if you are alive, it isn't.

-- Richard Bach     Submitted by Mike Corbin, Membership Chair, Metropolitan Detroit Volunteer Administration Network

There are only two rules to change: One is to begin; the second is to continue.

Submitted by Sue Staggs, State Director, Tomorrows Leaders Today, Texas

Whatever you do may seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.

-- Gandhi     Submitted by Douglas Eggleston, Director, Emergency Services - American Red Cross, VA

As many arrows, loosed several ways, come to one many a thousand actions, once afoot, end in one purpose.

-- William Shakespeare Henry V, Act I, Sc.2     Submitted by Sue Smith, Great Works Regional Land Trust, ME

You've got to think about 'big things' while you're doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction. 

-- Alvin Toffler     Submitted by David Ontonovich, CDHVS, National Coordinator, Volunteer Resources - Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange

The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.

-- Albert Einstein     Submitted by Jill C. Howland

If your heart is full, it shouldn't matter if your pockets are empty.

-- Karen Dawson, Volunteer at Clay Elementary School Clay, WV     Submitted by Beth Anderson, AmeriCorps*VISTA, West Virginia

The greatest virtues are those which are most useful to other people.

-- Aristotle     Submitted by Marilyn Gitsidis, Program Assistant, Seniors Support Services, Hellenic Home for the Aged, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight, but has no vision.

-- Helen Keller     Submitted by Raven Alexander, Student Director, Florida Atlantic University Volunteer Center, Florida

To keep a lamp burning we have to keep putting oil in it. 

-- Mother Teresa     Submitted by Mike Corbin, Membership Chair, Metropolitan Detroit Volunteer Administration Network

You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do. 

-- Henry Ford     Submitted by Mike Corbin, Membership Chair, Metropolitan Detroit Volunteer Administration Network

Don't wait for the last judgement - it takes place every day. 

-- Albert Camus     Submitted by Mike Corbin, Membership Chair, Metropolitan Detroit Volunteer Administration Network

Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumps, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory or defeat.

-- Theodore Roosevelt     Submitted by Robin Popik, City of Plano Volunteer Program, Texas

It is better to shoot for the moon and miss, than shoot for nothing and hit it.

-- Reverend Eloise Page, Casadaga, Florida     Submitted by Abby Walters, President, Flying Turtle Enterprises, Inc., Florida

Good ideas remain ideas - unless we act upon them.

Submitted by Andy Fryar, Vice President - Volunteering Australia, Australia

Some people see things as they are and say 'why', I look at things that never were and say 'why not'.

-- Robert F. Kennedy     Submitted by Emma, North Carolina, USA

Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.

-- Goethe     Submitted by Dorman Stanley, CONTACT Lubbock, Texas

The mode in which the inevitable comes to pass is through effort. 

-- Oliver Wendell Holmes     Submitted by Mike Corbin, Membership Chair, Metropolitan Detroit Volunteer Administration Network

First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.

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

I'm in the business of loving the hell out of people

-- Mother Waddles     Submitted by Mike Corbin, Membership Chair, Metropolitan Detroit Volunteer Administration Network

They don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care.

Submitted by Desire'e Larson, Women's Way, North Dakota Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program

The deeds you do may be the only sermon some persons will hear today. 

-- Saint Francis of Assisi     Submitted by Mike Corbin, Membership Chair, Metropolitan Detroit Volunteer Administration Network

To the world you may be one person, But to one person you may be the world.

Submitted by Anonymous

We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.

-- Mother Theresa     Submitted by Jenni

Throughout your life, there is a voice only you can hear. A voice which mythologists label "the call." A call to the value of your life. The choice of risk and individual bliss over the known and secure.

You may choose not to hear your spirit. You may prefer to build a life within the compound, to avoid risk. It is possible to find happiness within a familiar box, a life of comfort and control.

Or, you may choose to be open to new experiences, to leave the limits of your conditioning, to hear the call. Then you must act.

If you never hear it, perhaps nothing is lost. If you hear it and ignore it, your life is lost.

-- Jennifer James     Submitted by Debra English, Volunteer Coordinator, HealthPartners

Which is more subversive—and corrosive—to believe in altruism or to see it simply as a cloak of self interest? Even if altruism did not exist, it would be necessary to believe in it. Pessimists in power are prone to despotism.

-- Frank Prochaska in Schools of Citizenship: Charity and Civic Virtue, Civitas: Institute for the Study of Civil Society, London, 2002     Submitted by Susan Ellis

It is only through the eyes of others do you see yourself. It is only through the work of your own do you find the difference in others.

Submitted by Foo Ji-Wei, Volunteerism Through Oneself, Nanyang Technological University, Welfare Services Club, Singapore

There are many wonderful things that will never be done if you don't do them.

-- Charles D. Gill     Submitted by Caitlin Rohrer, Girl Scouts - Trillium Council, Pennsylvania

The highest reward for a person's work is not what they get for it, but what they become because of it. 

-- John Ruskin     Submitted by Caitlin Rohrer, Girl Scouts, Trillium Council, Pennsylvania

At the end of our life our questions are simple: Did I live fully? Did I love well?

-- Jack Kornfield     Submitted by Caitlin Rohrer, Girl Scouts, Trillium Council, Pennsylvania

Silence equals nonexistence. If I don't raise my voice, it's like I never existed.

-- Margaret Cho, Comedienne Revolution     Submitted by Jennifer Smerud

Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and help them become what they are capable of being.   

-- Goethe     Submitted by Elizabeth Ellis

What the mind of a Man can conceive and believe, he can achieve.

Submitted by Albert Kwansa-Adjei

The human contribution is the essential ingredient. It is only in the giving of oneself to others that we truly live.

-- Ethel Percy Andrus     Submitted by Lindsey Garner

It just feels like through our little projects and visits, we are being the hands and feet of God.

-- Found in a newspaper and quoted by "Women from Faith" a United Methodist group located in Wolcott, NY.     Submitted by Linda Geno

And of all glad words
of prose or rhyme,
The gladdest are
"Act while there
yet is time"

-- Franklin P. Adams     Submitted by Pat Spain

One Hundred years from now it will not matter what kind of house you lived in... what kind of car you drove... what your bank balance was...but what will matter is that you were important in the life of a child.

-- Adapted from a quote by Forest Witcraft     Submitted by Lynn Hamilton

If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.

-- Antoine de Saint-Exupery     Submitted by Zoe Mckenzie

Life is not about waiting for the storms to's about learning how to dance in the rain!

Submitted by Vivian Greene

Take Care of People - People before Paper, People before Profits, People before Self and People before Projects

Submitted by Carol S. Ritter, Speaker on Non-Profit and Educational Leadership

If you see someone without a smile ....give them one of yours.

Submitted by Becky Heimbach