I recently helped out with a couple of volunteer events, providing safety and welfare radio support. First was the Plano Balloon Festival, which was to be the biggest, most time consuming event we support as radio operators. Unfortunately, the weather had other ideas. Between the much needed rain and excessive winds, there weren’t any official launches. Second was the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk to Cure Diabetes in Dallas.
This second event was a ‘smaller’ event, and should have been pretty simple. It was well organized and pretty well supported. The weather was awesome. I got a couple of shirts out of the deal. What’s more, the radio coordinator for the event, KE5VBO Erik, thanked me for ‘going above and beyond’. While I was appreciative of his recognition, it got me to thinking… and scratching my head a little.
What does it mean to volunteer? Well, a volunteer is defined as:
A person who freely offers to take part in an enterprise or undertake a task.
ok… so the act of volunteering is to Freely offer to do something.
Those are the true definitions of volunteering, but I think the spirit of volunteering should go further. If help is needed, get the job done, or at least offer to do what is needed. I have seen lots of volunteers get all bent out of shape when they found out there was a need above and beyond what they ‘signed up for’ originally.
If you signed up, you recognized that the organization had a need. You recognized you had some time and abilities that may be able to fill those needs. Guess what? Needs are dynamic. If you are available and able, you should also be willing. If you want to be a giver, then give.
I was on ‘Landscape Shadow’ duty. This would entail that I shadow the guy taking supplies to check points and let the coordinator know where we are and the progress achieved. I ended up moving barricades, loading and unloading supplies, picking up trash and food waste, and helping tear down.
Well, there was a need. I didn’t even think about it. When I saw some of the volunteers that were even assigned the role balk at picking up half-eaten bananas, I knelled in the grass and picked up handfuls. God covered me with this wonderfully washable surface called skin. 😉
Anyway… the moral of this story is, if you volunteer, then do it all the way.
You will be glad you did.
I promise. 🙂