Why people don’t volunteer much anymore and why the ones that do deserve medals!

I volunteer and I am proud of it. I do it because growing up, I went through some hard times and it was the people that volunteered that got me through it. I wanted to be able to give something back. It sticks in my craw and makes my heart ache when I see people who have given their hearts and souls and much of their time to volunteerism, getting grief from someone that just wants to sit on the sidelines with way too much time on their hands and vitriol in their hearts.

I would like to remind people that have nothing better to do then gripe and complain about things, events and goings on, that people who volunteer for things – are volunteers, they don’t get paid for it, they work and give much of themselves for things that more and more frequently give nothing back to them, not even a simple thank you. Why do people NOT volunteer for things any more? The free time to spend doing it? Yes! The time away from work and family? Yes! The cost of living? Yes! The fact that they are not appreciated anymore and get a lot of grief for it many times? Double Yes! Where are you that complain? And what are you doing? Nothing! Oh wait, I’m sorry, you’re complaining. You must be doing something.

In this day and age when people are stressed to the max with rising costs, social issues and things our grandparents never had to dream of dealing with, please everyone take a step back and think of the nice things that people who VOLUNTEER have done that has made some positive impact on your life, be it large or be it small. Without those people that volunteer, many of the things you take for granted every day would not have gotten done and would not continue to be done now. I think a thank you now and then would suffice as acknowledgement and appreciation, but the contribution of your hands and brains are also very welcome!

If you volunteered to help with something and all you got in return was grief for it, would it sour you towards doing it again? Or doing more? I think so! But most of the people that volunteer keep on in the face of negativity. It’s hard to remind yourself frequently of the fact that when one volunteers to help, 9999 people really do appreciate it, even if they don’t tell you, but the one person that has to complain about something trivial (when of course they would rather stand on the sidelines and gripe instead of helping) can ruin someone’s day and sometimes their month or their lives.

For those of you that have nothing better to do then complain and make trouble for good hearted people, I say to you, “shut the heck up and pick up a shovel,” so you can shovel away some of the grief you have caused. I have absolutely NO respect for someone that has an issue about something, but when push comes to shove, where were they when it comes time to pitch in? If you have a problem or an issue with something, help fix it and make it better, don’t break it or aid in keeping it broken. Actions speak and make things happen and words sometimes hinder. In this case, the plow is mightier than the pen.

For those people that volunteer, I know you don’t have “ulterior motives”, I know you do it because you honestly want to help, I know that you are special people and I thank you from the bottom of my heart, and wish you could all receive medals of valor for being the wonderful people that you are. Please keep volunteering! My family and I appreciates you! And to the rest of you in-betweeners, when was the last time you did something nice for someone. Opening doors for little old ladies counts and so does smiling and wishing someone a good day!

The next time you see someone volunteering, take a moment to thank them for the time they are taking out of their own lives to help (even in small ways) make someone else’s life better. Every action has a reaction and an effect that you may not see, but telling someone, “Thank you for volunteering” could be the difference between life and death, between motivation and depression. While that may seem unimaginable, think of the soup kitchen volunteer that was feeling down in the dumps one day and decided she just didn’t have the energy to go in to help one day. One family that she could have helped to feed, got turned away because the soup kitchen didn’t have enough hands and that was the breaking point and the family starved. Think of the Big Brother who helps an inner city youth become a better person by being there for him, encouraging him and spending time with him. That youth could be president, and without his Big Brother, that youth could grow up to be a shooter of politicians. While that may be an extreme example, you NEVER know the cause and effect of things. Please thank the people that volunteer, without them, the world would be a very different place.

This rant post was prompted by someone I know, who never volunteers for anything, making the most good hearted older woman I know cry. She didn’t deserve what was said to her and he should be ashamed of himself for being so closeminded and petty instead of trying to lift a finger and actually helping with something that could have used his aid instead of complaints.

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About Heather Turner

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