Sep 10, 2015
by Abby Lund
What I love about volunteers is that they have made a conscious choice to improve something. Whether they are helping to restore stream habitat, walk dogs, mow lawns for disabled seniors, volunteer for a local fundraiser, hand out newsletters, whatever it may be, they've taken time out of their day, away from work, from family, from their time to relax and are making our world a little better.
The fish are happier, the dogs are happier, a senior is happier and relieved to have help. I feel very lucky to be a part of making that connection, so that they can make such a difference.
I also feel very lucky to be a part of a community where so many of us volunteer. I was recently reminded of how great our community is when I posted an urgent need for a client of mine. I direct the Volunteer Chore Program, a program serving seniors and adults with disabilities that need help to keep their independence. They have no support system, no friends or family nearby and are physically unable to do those tasks like: vacuum, unload groceries, or care for their yard. Volunteers can step in and help when no one else can.
I had a client in north Whatcom County that desperately needed shopping assistance as he hadn't been to a store for over two months and hadn't had any fresh food for that long. It was hurting his health and it was very important to get some assistance with shopping. I sent an e-mail to all of our registered volunteers with the Volunteer Center (4,000 plus) asking for help. I was overwhelmed by the response. Over 50 people responded within 12 hours saying, "Yes, I can help!" It was extremely moving to see the support of our community, wanting to make sure this gentleman had access to groceries. I now have two volunteers enrolled and able to help him and make sure he is getting what he needs.
When the world is full of disasters, questionable politics and news about people hurting each other, when you get the opportunity to witness so many people making the conscious choice to take time out of their busy lives to make someone else's life better, you are reminded of the power of volunteers and the ability of each one of you to inspire us.