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United Way of Southwest Alabama / President's Desk  / President’s Blog – “Volunteering Is Empathy In Action”
April President's Blog - Volunteering is Empathy in Action

President’s Blog – “Volunteering Is Empathy In Action”

The Learning Exchange has announced, “The National Volunteer Week theme for 2022 (April 24-30, 2022)Volunteering Is Empathy In Action, affirms the strong connection between volunteerism and empathy. This profoundly human connection is at the heart of healthier individuals and stronger communities.”

Volunteering has impacted and guided my life for almost as long as I can remember.  Both of my parents served as Board Chairs for every organization to which they belonged. They even served back to back terms as president for the Ashley County Sheltered Workshop.  I am proud of my parents’ service to the communities they called home.

Service to others is a privilege.  When we give of our time to others, more times than not, we, the volunteers, change, and grow, develop empathy and sympathy. We come to understand the world a little better; we examine ourselves and our lives more closely; we gain new perspectives; we develop more patience for our fellow humans.

Volunteering gives each of us the opportunity to leave our comfort zones; to expand our knowledge; to work for the common good; to learn more about our neighbors; to meet new friends who share our values.

According to The American Presidency Project, “Civic engagement and volunteer service strengthens the fabric of our Nation and reflects the true heart, spirit, and goodness of America. National Volunteer Week is an opportunity to recognize and honor the countless individuals who selflessly invest in the lives of others. These ordinary citizens make extraordinary contributions to individuals, families, neighborhoods, communities, and our Nation.”

Literally, thousands of people who call Southwest Alabama home utilize the services of not only the United Way of Southwest Alabama and our 45 partner agencies but of hundreds of other nonprofits each day.  These organizations need volunteers now.  Many nonprofits, just like other businesses, have experienced labor shortages and cannot provide essential services; they need volunteers to pick up the slack.

At the United Way of Southwest Alabama, we rely on hundreds of volunteers annually. Volunteers raise money. Volunteers determine which nonprofits will serve as partner agencies.  Volunteers allocate the resources to the partner agencies. Volunteers serve on our Board of Trustees. Volunteers drive everything that we do at the United Way of Southwest Alabama.  We could not do our jobs without volunteers.

If you want instant gratification, volunteer.  By the end of your shift, event, meeting, you will have made a difference not only in someone else’s life but in your own life.

 

EVolunteering is a privilege.