Posted by: mydarkestplaces | October 18, 2010


So. Today I’m supposed to meet with a woman from the Big Offices Down the Road about why I volunteer. The meeting was supposed to happen 45 minutes ago (according to what I put in my calendar), but I completely own that I may have gotten it wrong based on the fact she’s not here yet. Since she’s not here, I’ve decided I’m going to write about why I volunteer and maybe then I’ll have a coherent thought when I eventually DO meet with her.

So. I try and do a lot in the community. I’m on the planning committee for the Greater Portland Relay for Life. I also take every opportunity to do trail maintenance through work. These activities really only fill a small hole in the need that overwhelms our communities. So. Why do I do it?

One: my parents raised us to give back whatever we could to the community. They have both been active in Rotary for years, participate in whatever philanthropic or volunteer activities through Church, friends, family, and schools they can. They taught us that giving back to the community does not always have to be about money. Time is sometimes an equally valuable resource for an organization.

Two: I have so many blessings in my life. A job I love, friends and family who love and put up with me, and more than the minimum when it comes to material possessions. With all this…Good…around me, who am I to keep it to myself?

Three: People need help. Whether it be cancer survivors/caregivers, folks who don’t have access to trails, or folks who need the services of the United Way, it’s within my power to give (albeit not much) so why wouldn’t I give all that I can?

Four – and perhaps most important: It’s fun. I get to be a part of something huge (Relay) and play in the mud (trail maintenance). The warm and fuzzies are not to be underrated either.

I don’t have a witty and/or brilliant close. Just an entreaty: take stock of what you have in your life. Think about what you wouldn’t be able to do without the help of others. And pay it forward. It sounds trite, but we should never take for granted all that we have, and we should always think about how many people have so much less. It’s our obligation as human beings to do all we can to help.


  1. Go K!

    People like you make the world a better place. Volunteering doesn’t have to be drudgery – it’s usually a lot of fun, and a great way to meet other people who think of things bigger than themselves.

    The interesting thing is that people who volunteer usually do it for life, and those who don’t do it when they’re younger, often never do.

    Keep up the good works….and the good writing!

  2. […] I’ve written a lot about the awesome influence that my parents have had in my life (hint: it’s immeasurable). But I would be remiss if I […]

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