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 submission first.

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. 

--Unknown        

Most of us in volunteer programs now realize that those 1000 points of light of George Bush #1 are really 500 candles burning at both ends and the only thing to trickle down from Reganomics was budget cuts.

--Unknown        

A verse to start community meetings:
"A healthy social life is found only, when in the mirror of each soul the whole community finds its reflection, and when in the whole community the virtue of each one is living."

--Rudolf Steiner, Austrian Philosopher and Scientist        

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

--Oliver Wendell Holmes         

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

--Horace Mann         

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

--Epictetus         

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

--Mother Waddles         

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

--Unknown        

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

--Unknown        

Unless someone like you cares a whole, awful lot. Things aren't going to get better, they're NOT!

--Dr. Seuss, The Lorax         

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

--Saint Francis of Assisi        

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

--Yiddish Proverb        

Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

--I John 3:18        

If you can't go where people are happier, try to make people happier where you are.

--Ashleigh Brilliant        

I shall pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again. 

--Mahatma Gandhi        

Let ... individuals make the most of what God has given them, have their neighbors do the same, and then do all they can to serve each other. There is no use in one man, or one nation, to try to do or be everything. It is a good thing to be dependent on each other for something, it makes us civil and peaceable.

--Sojourner Truth (c. 1797­1883), African American suffragist and abolitionist. As quoted in History of Woman Suffrage, appendix—ch. 19, by Elizabeth Cady Stanton        

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

--Unknown        

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

--Ralph Waldo Emerson        

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        

The broadest, and maybe the most meaningful definition of volunteering: Doing more than you have to because you want to, in a cause you consider good.

--van Scheier (from Building Staff/Volunteer Relations)        

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        

The heart of a volunteer is not measured in size, but by the depth of the commitment to make a difference in the lives of others. 

--Unknown        

Those who say it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.

--Chinese Proverb        

The winds of change shall not discourage the volunteer.

--Unknown        

To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson         

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        

It's easy to make a buck. It's a lot tougher to make a difference.

--Tom Brokaw        

Being a man or a woman is a matter of birth. Being a man or a woman who makes a difference is a matter of choice.

--Byron Garrett, staff member of Arizona's Governor         

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.

--Unknown        

If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is tied up with mine, then let us work together.

--Lill Watson, aboriginal activist        
You make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give.
--Winston Churchill        

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

--Calvin Coolidge        

Too often we under-estimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

--Dr. Felice Leonardo Buscaglia        

To serve, not to be served.

--The charge to service for AARP members from Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, AARP founder        

Don't ever question the value of volunteers. Noah's Ark was built by volunteers; the Titanic was built by professionals. 

--Unknown        

Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.

--Unknown        

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

--Charles D. Gill        

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

--John Ruskin        

If you insist on measuring yourself, place the tape around your heart rather than your head.

--Carol Trabelle        

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

--Jack Kornfield        

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        

Paul Revere earned his living as a silversmith.   But what do we remember him for?  His volunteer work.  All activism is volunteering in that it's done above and beyond earning a living and deals with what people really care passionately about.  Remember, no one gets paid to rebel.  All revolutions start with volunteers.

--Susan J. Ellis        

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

--Margaret Cho, Comedienne Revolution        

When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.

--Mercy Mission Kenya        

Help yourself. Volunteer.
So what's holding you back? Volunteer today.
Don't just stand there. Volunteer.
Do the right thing. Volunteer.

--Unknown        

Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

--Margaret Mead        

Volunteering is not a choice, it's a responsibility.

--Unknown        

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?

--Unknown        

Volunteers are seldom paid; not because they are worthless, but because they are PRICELESS!

--Unknown        

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

--Goethe        

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