Do you volunteer? You should. Everyone should. We have all been aided by someone who didn’t ask for money in return. Why not do the same for someone else?
Every year, I try to get my people to volunteer. Sometimes they listen, but more often they ignore me and tell me they don’t have time. Well 2008 is going to be different. I’m starting a little campaign. It’s called “48 in 2008“. Why that title? Well, it’s all about starting small. If everyone around me donates 1 hour per week (on average) of their time, that would be about 52 hours in one year. I’m allowing for 4 weeks of oversleeping, hangovers and holiday celebrations to interrupt this schedule. Now imagine those hours completed by 20 people. That can be a major impact on a community.
So 48 in 2008 is easy, right? That’s just one hour per week, 4 hours per month. You spend much more time than that watching Oprah or SportsCenter. If you like children, you can tutor or help with an after-school program. If you like animals, you can volunteer at an animal shelter. If you’re good at carpentry, you can help restore or build a house. You can prepare meals for AIDS patients, plant trees, pick up trash, paint schools or give blood. I’m going to HOUND everyone I know to get involved because I know you have the time.
If you need help finding projects, let me know. If you complete a project, let me know and I’ll find a way to keep track of hours. If you’ve never volunteered before, let me know. I’ll send you some resources and links. There’s a link in green letters to the right to email me. There’s now a tab above labeled “volunteering” that will be updated with resources and information.
48 hours is not a lot of time, but it can have a huge impact on lots of people.
Here are some last thoughts from the Corporation for National and Community Service:
“Although the adult volunteer rate for 2006, 26.7%, was down slightly from the 28.8% recorded from 2003-2005, a greater percentage of Americans adults are volunteering today than at any other time in the past 30 years. These include late teens, Baby Boomers, and those ages 65 and older. In addition, more and more young people are becoming involved in their communities through school based service-learning and volunteering.
“This increase is a critically important development because volunteering is no longer just nice to do. It is a necessary aspect of meeting the most pressing needs facing our nation: crime, gangs, poverty, disasters, illiteracy, and homelessness. It is also an important part of maintaining the health of our citizens, as research consistently shows that those who volunteer, especially hose 65 years and older, lead healthier lives than those who do not engage in their communities.”