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When most folks think about volunteering, they think of joining an organization and giving a certain amount of hours or days enhancing that organization’s work. That is what we would call formal volunteering. Now let’s think out of the box. What does the word volunteer encompass?
I believe it means giving of your time to help a person, a cause, a need close to home or across the globe. It can involve large or small amounts of time. But the core ingredient is TIME and the use of yourself.
Volunteering is not necessarily a regular experience, it can be a one shot deal; taking part in a Habitat for Humanity re-build project on a Saturday. It could mean being part of a fundraising campaign for a friend with cystic fibrosis by jumping into a frozen lake. It could be cleaning out your closet to make a trip to goodwill or a local nonprofit thrift shop. It could be taking that casserole to a neighbor whose child is in the hospital. It could be giving your time as a cyber micro-volunteer to help nonprofits deal with design and website branding, via groups like Sparked.com.
Volunteering is sometimes recognized by others . . . but in so many instances it is not. It is wonderful when others pat you on your back but it is even more cool when it is only you seeing that you gave of yourself and your time to do good. Volunteering does make you feel good!