I am impressed that tough economic times have increased the level of volunteerism in America. I was at the Denver USO today, where engineers, doctors, teachers and many others make coffee and serve sandwiches to military service members and their families. Many of the volunteers were military themselves, are or were part of a military family, have kids in the military, or took advantage of the USO when they were active duty and feel as though they want to help. The Denver USO does not advertise for volunteers, and there is a waiting list of 160 people (over a year long) to be one of the volunteers. Wow! That’s intrinsic motivation. The hospital where I volunteer is comprised of mostly professional or retired people who also just want to help. Amazing! The motivation of these volunteers to accept work a counter, fill in for others, deliver dinners, and be a comforting shoulder in times of crisis is commendable. Watching the increase in volunteerism makes me believe that there is a strong correlation between the need for a community response and the desire for people to be part of a community solution. When times get tough, we need each other more. Thanks to everyone who volunteers in their children’s schools, in churches, at hospitals, community centers, senior centers, welcome centers, airports, and everywhere else other people need a hand.
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