September 6, 2013
A recent article in the Examiner gave the top reasons to say “no” to volunteer positions. This is the other side of that coin. Saying “yes” has a lot of benefits that will affect your current situation, and long-term goals, in a positive way.
- It sets a good example for your children. When you help others, you are teaching your children to be helpful at the same time. There will come a day when you are the one who needs help. If you take the time to teach your children with the example you set, at one point or another, what you sow will be returned to you in equal measure.
- Programs such as scouts can’t run without volunteers. If you want your child to be in the program, then you have a responsibility to the program to help keep the program running. There are always a variety of ways to help, but every parent needs to be involved in some way. Take a look at the programs that peter out, like Girl Scouts, and you’ll see that in most cases, a lack of parent volunteers played a part in the demise of the program.
- It counts as a part of your tithe. It’s not always easy to give ten percent of your income to charity, but a gift of your time is just as valuable to God. In the parable of the land owner who gave three servants “talents” to be invested, the word talent means money, but it can also be interpreted to be a physical or mental talent as well. If God gives you an ability, he deserves to get a portion of that ability returned to him in the form of service to others.
- It’s a way to make friends. A friend is someone who has a common interest. An activity can serve as a mutual interest between people that don’t have much in common.
- It lets you keep on top of what is going on at the school. It lets you meet the other parents and teachers. Not all of the gossip will be true, but after you double-check your facts a few times, you’ll be aware of who the trouble makers are, what problems are going on, and what to watch out for.
- It helps you choose good friends for your child. Children grow up to be like their parents. Get to know the parent, and you’ll have a good idea of what is going on at their home, what their values are, and what they are interested in. If you notice the parent doing something you don’t approve of, or talking about something you don’t want your child exposed to, you can then gently steer your child toward making friends with someone else, or realize that visits with this friend need to be monitored.
- It’s good for your attitude. One definition of humility is that it is not thinking less of yourself, but of thinking of yourself less. When you help people, it makes you feel good, and that makes your attitude better. If you enjoy what you’re doing, it’s not work, it’s fun.
- It lets you call in favors at a later date. When you help others, others are more willing to help you back when you need it.
- It saves money. Schools that can’t get volunteers have to turn to other programs to raise funds. One example of this is when a school hires an event organizer to come in and run a walk-a-thon. The organizer takes a cut of the profits from the event. If there isn’t as much profit, the school will have to run two fund raisers to make the same amount of money. This requires the parents to donate money twice as often.
- It’s healthy. As one volunteer at the Greek Festival in Pensacola said “it’s a chance to get out in the sun and be with God’s people.” It’s also a chance to walk off a few calories, stretch a few muscles, and get some fresh air.