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 submission first.

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        

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


Here's to all volunteers, those dedicated people who believe in all work and no pay.

--Robert Orben        

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

--Sierra Leonean Proverb        

When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion. 

--Ethiopian Proverb        

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.


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        

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        

In every community, there is work to be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal. In every heart, there is the power to do it.

--Marianne Williamson        

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        

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

--Mother Theodore Guerin        

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

--Mark Twain        

Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.

--Will Rogers        

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

--Edmond Burke        

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

--Edmond Burke        

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        

A volunteer is a person who believes that people can make a difference - and is willing to prove it.


With a sweet tongue and kindness, you can drag an elephant by a hair.

--Persian Proverb        

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

--Ashleigh Brilliant        

There are three ways of trying to win the young. There is persuasion, there is compulsion, and there is attraction. You can preach at them: that is a hook without a worm. You can say, "You must volunteer," and that is of the devil. You can tell them, "You are needed." That appeal hardly ever fails.

--K. Hahn, Readings from the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School        

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

--Robert H. Shaffer        

The essence of volunteerism is not giving part of a surplus one doesn't need, but giving part of one's self. Such giving is more than a duty of the heart, but a way people help themselves by satisfying the deeper spiritual needs that represent the best that is in us.

--Kathleen Kennedy Townsend        

Volunteer activities can foster enormous leadership skills. The nonprofit professional volunteer world is a laboratory for self-realization.

--Madeleine Kunin        

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

--Maya Angelou        

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        

If you want to touch the past TOUCH A ROCK.  If you want to touch the present TOUCH A ROSE.  If you want to touch the future TOUCH A LIFE.


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


It is from the numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal or acts to improve the lot of others or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.

--Robert F. Kennedy        

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

--Henry David Thoreau        

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        

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

--Peter Marshall        

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

--Evan Esar        

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


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        

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


--Walt Disney        

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community... and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for a moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.

--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Playwright        

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

--Helen Keller        

I have never been especially impressed by the heroics of people convinced that they are about to change the world. I am more awed by ... those who ... struggle to make one small difference after another.

--Ellen Goodman        

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        

A candle loses nothing of its light when lighting another.

--Kahlil Gibran        

Where apathy is the master, all men are slaves.


All that we send into the lives of others comes back into our own.


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

--Emily Kimbrough        

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        

A bit of fragrance always clings to the hand that gives roses.

--Chinese Proverb        

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

--Abraham Lincoln        

When you stop giving and offering something to the rest of the world, it's time to turn out the lights.

--George Burns        

This is the true joy in life being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. . . 

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die. For the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. 

Life is no brief candle to me. It's a sort of splendid torch which I've got to hold up for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.

--George Bernard Shaw        

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         

I did not find the world desolate when I entered it. My fathers planted for me before I arrived, so I plant for those who come after me.