In the wake of yet another school shooting, there are many times in life that we may feel remorse for the way our world seems around us. Abuse, neglect, anger, suicide and violence seem to overwhelm our social media and local news. So how do we, with our limited resources, remedy a hurting and lonely community? We take action….by volunteering locally and for one cause at a time. There is a powerful quote by Seneca that says, “To be everywhere is to be nowhere.” So many times, we stretch ourselves thin by being part of one committee after the next, and then the dreaded “volunteer burnout” happens, which can spill over into our work and family lives. It is also vital to balance volunteerism with personal life as well. We are big promoters of self-care here at The WARM Place. When our efforts are fully concentrated on one cause that we are most passionate about, we can move mountains in the lives of those around us.
According to the Corporation for National & Community Service, only 24% of residents in the state of Texas actually do volunteer work. That ranks us at 42nd among our 50 states for volunteerism.* Imagine the impact our cities and communities could have if each one of us did at least 2 hours of volunteer work every week. There is a tremendous amount of momentum that also forms when we volunteer. Others around us see or hear about our endeavors and it encourages them to get more involved. Volunteer opportunities can also be made known to others at lightning speed through social media. Are you already volunteering somewhere? If so, maybe reach out to friends and family to tell them about your experience. I think you’ll be surprised at the response you get from others who want to help, but just didn’t know how to get started.
We’ve all heard the stories about a special teacher making a difference in the life of a child, and them going onto to become a proud member of society, but I would like you to know that it doesn’t stop there. When you volunteer, whether it be with the homeless, with the disabled, with children, etc., a ripple effect is produced that touches countless lives. We have heard many stories here at The WARM Place about the children who have come through our doors with suicidal thoughts, failing grades, and bad behavior due to the loss they experienced. Through the assistance of our wonderful volunteers, these children have been able to openly grieve, express their emotions in a safe place, and work through the pain so they can navigate through their new environment. Money cannot buy this type of life-changing experience, only the dedication and sacrifice of our loving volunteers and donors.
To put it frankly, volunteers save lives. They give hope, strength, and breathe life back into the people they touch. Have you heard of a carbon footprint? It is the measure of the effect our daily living has on the environment. When you volunteer, you create a lasting footprint of positive transformation. So what is it you are passionate about? Where could you start making an impact? If you are interested in volunteering, there are over 4,000 nonprofits in DFW that could use your help. Make a list of your top 5 today, find out how to get involved, and get going. There is someone out there waiting for you!
Never underestimate the valuable and important difference you make in every life you touch. For the impact you make today has a powerful rippling effect on every tomorrow.”
*Statistics available at http://www.volunteeringinamerica.gov/TX
-Maria Montes, Volunteer Coordinator