Volunteering is the kindness of helping others.Call it...

November 24, 1991|By Ellen Hawks

Volunteering is the kindness of helping others.

Call it what you like, giving, volunteering, helping, philanthropy or support, the bottom line is that volunteering is the kindness of helping others.

An old woman cuddles a visiting kitten, brought to her by a volunteer; a man needs help to repair his house and his neighbor pitches in to give him a hand; a hungry man finds comfort, food and clothes from volunteers in a shelter.

Volunteer help continues everywhere. An abused woman finds peace in a home where her children are welcome and where volunteers offer friendship and more; a volunteer picks up a stray, hungry animal on the street taking it to safety; and an awakening of all awakenings, a volunteer teaches another to read.

Volunteering is something that anyone can do whether it is offering comfort over the telephone, building a house or reading to the blind. Humans, animals, the young, the old, the sick and the well all benefit.

Those who volunteer seem to have a need, a strong urge or even a duty to give to others.

Some say you can spot a volunteer because they are the happy ones who have a spark in their eyes.

Others claim that volunteering is selfish -- that people volunteer for their own pleasure. This is not entirely wrong. It might surprise you to know how many people are so generous that they literally survive by giving to others.

And, while there are those who need to give, so are there those who need to receive.

It is easier to give than to receive and those who are in need should know that to graciously accept the help that someone is giving, brings another kind of peace and happiness.

So, for those who want to give these pages offer hundreds of volunteer opportunities.

And, for those who are facing hard times and may have to ask for help for the first time in their lives, remember that on these pages you will possibly find the help you need from people who find great pleasure in giving to make things right for you.

So, accept their help with pleasure and when you can, get out and volunteer for your own happiness.

=1 The kindness of giving is so good for people.

THE KINDNESS TO HELP OTHERS

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