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Becoming a Volunteer Starts with TIME  


Becoming a Volunteer Starts with TIME


Time is one of the most precious commodities today and guess what? We all have it! Not one of us can rightfully say that we have no time but I am sure we can all agree that we have very little of it.                                                                                      

And time is certainly not free. I don’t understand where this concept comes from. Most of us usually expect something in return when we give up our time. But people often ask of us to donate our time “freely”; yes freely. They call it volunteering.

How can we give up something so valuable, “freely”? And why should we volunteer our precious time anyway?


Well, I finally found something that I felt a passion for and I wanted to get involved. I must admit that I did have a personal interest here: my children. My personal interest allowed my dedication for this effort to grow even stronger.

Over time, while meeting many interesting people and actively participating on many committees, I became aware of some of the serious gaps that need to be filled but funding to do so was unavailable. Therefore, they have come to rely on people like myself to help when possible. The work that I was doing was so fulfilling because it was of such great importance to not just my children, but all the children involved.


This lead to my current dilemma; what to do when I no longer have a “personal” interest in a particular effort that I have become involved in? Does my involvement end here? Will the need for my help end now or will it lie in wait for the next parent to come along and fill the gap?

This really sent me reeling. I took a long look at myself and at what I personally would like to do. I want to help children, whether they are my children or my neighbor’s, they could all use my help. And when I could find the time, I would be there to fill that gap that I so eagerly filled when my own personal interest was at stake.


A hard life lesson resurfaced here for me- - that there is no monetary value that could possibly be placed on the human experience, on life. If I had made a difference in at least one life by volunteering my time, well, we can all agree that I did not volunteer for nothing. My time had been well spent, right?

The rewards that I have experienced over the past few years are proof that we do not give up our time for free, we give up our time for a person, for people, for life. We give up our time to make a difference. What a beautiful thing.


Darlene Preston, May 2003

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