They don’t have to do it, but they do. They see needs around them and do what they can to help. They are volunteers. You may be one. Thank you, because we all are better off because you do what you do. You see volunteers all around. They may be coaching a team of kids, teaching a Sunday School class, working with inmates at the prison, or helping a struggling young student learn to read. They don’t volunteer because they have to do it, even though sometimes they may feel they have to do it because no one else will.
Looking back I can see where volunteers made an impact at crucial times in my life. Although not very good at it, playing sports were an important part of my childhood. Playing baseball in the summer on teams coached by William Bullard and Randall Autry were some of the best times for me during those days, even if it seemed like I spent most of the time sitting on the bench. This was a time when there was no organized, taxpayer funded county youth baseball league in our area. So the coaches had to pay for most of the expenses. If one of those wood bats broke (no aluminum bats back then), the cost of a new one would probably come out of Mr. William’s or Mr. Randall’s pocket. So we learned real early not to hit a pitch on the trademark. Of course, that wasn’t a problem for me, since I didn’t hit the ball that often.
Most of the time, church during those years meant a Sunday School class that was taught by MacDonald Grantham. His sons, Keith and Douglas, were my age, and in our small church there were not too many people available to teach. So Mr. MacDonald volunteered and taught God’s word to us pre-teen and teenage boys and girls. I know there were times when it didn’t look like it, but those scriptures and lessons were sinking in, to become a big part of my life later on. There were also other adults at Bethabara Church who took the time and effort to help lay the foundation in the lives of us young children. Just a little later, W.C. and Edna Glynn Martin organized a group of teenagers into the One Way Singers, and many of those teenagers lives were change positively for eternity, including me.
Looking back I see where these people, and others, by volunteering their time and energy, have helped me over the years, to become a better person. So here’s my chance to say thank you. But there are also volunteers out there today, making the place where we live better for us all. Some of them volunteer their time. Others volunteer their resources. Some do both.
Why do they do it? Why take the time and give the money to help others? Hopefully, one of the reasons is that the volunteers enjoy it. A long time ago an old man told me that “serving the Lord should be fun. If not, there’s something wrong with you, or with what you are doing.” And it should be the same way with whatever you volunteer your time. Of course there are going to be times of frustration and difficulty, but overall it should be enjoyable. It should be fun. I’ve noticed while officiating, that the coaches, for the most part, are enjoying what they are doing. When I was president of the Clinton Kiwanis club a couple of years ago, I said my goal for the club was to “have a good time doing good stuff.” And I’m sure that the leadership in all of the other local civic organizations feel the same way.
There is also that desire in volunteers to help others and make their part of the world a better place. One thing I’ve noticed is how much many local businesses help out in the community with their time and money. Our churches, civic groups and the community as a whole, really appreciate it. And many of those local business people and professionals are also involved volunteering in those churches, civic organizations and community groups. I have also noticed that most of the people who volunteer, who donate their time and resources, are smart and successful. Because, in the long run, giving your time and resources is a smart thing to do. Luke 6:38 in the Bible states, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Sounds like a promise worth volunteering for.