We must write and tell the Volunteering story
The volunteer that turns up during the flood or the disaster is to be commended. Their stories must be written, their bravery can be rewarded though they usually seek no such award. The Flood armies, the hurricane heroes, the storm saviors. The press loves them. Its good print. Good online material - good copy and a great grab on the TV news. And it brings the word “Volunteer” to the fore! Scenes of recent disasters over the last few years in Australia and New Zealand were heart wrenching. But hope and comfort was evident by the massive volunteering effort that touched us all. That touched humanity. And made it that little bit more hopeful.
But we must make the effort to remind society that volunteering is occurring 24/7.
They are on the streets for the homeless every day. They are on telephone lines 24 hours of the day providing counseling. They are turning up for shifts at hospitals every day; they are fundraising, advocating, protesting, and changing lives and society daily.
They are delivering meals; they are making calls to check on welfare, they are holding the hands of the dying, comforting the crying, bringing laughter to sick kids, friendship to the lonely, skills to the organisations that need expertise and knowledge.
We must tell our stories. We must show the world and its media what volunteering is doing. Not because we have to. But because our stories of hope can bring comfort to those who are disillusioned with the world, to those that see little light in the darkness, to cynics who say that the world basically doesn’t care!
I know that there are many reasons why people volunteer. I celebrate that. But right now I don my hat to those volunteers who affect change. Who make the world a more comfortable place for others. Who give hope. Who give comfort, who give a friendly smile or a helping hand.
And they exist in their millions around the globe.
The world is an amazing place…because of them!