Volunteering holds many benefitsLuckily, volunteering has many adherents.
By: Bernie Hughes, Superior Telegram
Luckily, volunteering has many adherents. Douglas County Retired Senior Volunteer Program — RSVP — has about 150 volunteers at 29 county sites at this time.
If there ever was such a thing, as a win, win and win situation, this is a shining example. And there are other opportunities in Douglas County such as Senior Connections, Foster Grandparents, Senior Corps, and more.
First, are the recipients, the people benefitting from the service. Young children in school, old folks like us in rest homes, people looking for health purposes at the hospitals and being escorted to the correct source, and truly this list is longer than your arm.
Second, are the volunteers providing the service. Social exchanges are psychologically helpful. Human interchange helps both the giver and the recipient. The recipient more than appreciates the service obtained, but also has made a new acquaintance and often a new friend.
Third, the giver has the same positive interchange, plus the additional great feeling that one gets from helping another. Here is the original Golden Rule exemplified day after day.
More women are involved in volunteering and one wonders why. Is it because many are mothers and had service experience for many years raising children? It has certainly been a mother’s role and volunteering fills that gap.
There are never too many volunteers. This is one case when more isn’t ever too many. I have been wrestling with ways that could increase the pool of volunteers. One condition that might cause some people to volunteer is people themselves being disabled in some capacity. But it needn’t. Some disabilities might even be a plus. Even people receiving disability compensation may have developed abilities that could and would help others. How could this be possible? Following are my thoughts and I’ll bet others could add:
Volunteers can choose what to volunteer for and how much of that they will do. They can do the volunteering in their own way and when they choose to do it. These aren’t jobs where people follow a job description spelling out how, when, what, where and why. There are no requirements based on height, weight, sex, age, religion or other requirements. Almost everybody, with some ability and willingness to help, is more than welcome.
It isn’t just this writer’s opinion, research has discovered that happier people give more and make people happier. Happiness and giving operates in a positive feedback loop with the happier people, giving more, getting happier and giving more.
Bernie Hughes, Ed.D., is a retired educator who resides in Superior. He can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.