Yesterday, I met with a small group of retired executives who volunteered their expertise and advice, wanting nothing more than to help a small-business owner succeed. (Learn more about SCORE.)
On Sundays, volunteers greet me at my church door, hand out bulletins, teach my family Sunday-school lessons, purchase and prepare snacks for all in attendance and so much more. (Learn more about Calvary Chapel of Danville.)
On Mondays and Tuesdays this past school year, I met with about 100 other women who were volunteering a significant portion of our weeks to helping other women study the Bible. (Learn more about Bible Study Fellowship.)
Chances are, you've crossed paths with a volunteer or two in your past week, too.
If you stop to think about how many volunteers are involved in your daily life, then consider how many volunteers are involved in the daily lives of every person and every not-for-profit organization, it's pretty astounding.
Volunteers are the fuel that powers every great vehicle for good.
CorComm Gives Back: A day at McCloud Nature Park
Winston Churchill once said, "You make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give." We at CorComm Creative know we're together most of the time to carry out work that, while serving largely not-for-profit organizations who do good work, ultimately serves to pay our wages. That's not enough for us. We want to mirror the giving spirits of our clients and get out in the world to do good work ourselves — not for pay, but for the chance to serve others, giving our time and energy to fuel some vehicle for good.
So last week, we gathered from our four corners of central Indiana (Danville, Greenwood, Zionsville and Noblesville) in the small town of North Salem, located in northwestern Hendricks County. We wore work gloves, long pants, long socks, tennis shoes, hats and even (for one of us, at least) a long-sleeved shirt, despite the 80-degree May weather. We carried trash bags, bug spray, sunscreen, cell phones and bottles of water as we spent five hours (give or take) ridding trails of garlic mustard (an invasive weed species) at McCloud Nature Park.
And while we set out to volunteer our time for McCloud, we found that we were gaining just as much as we were giving. (We kind of expected we would!)
We spent the day enjoying the peaceful countryside, chatting with our fellow team members, swatting a few gnats and wishing Kirsten were able to join us. (As luck would have it, she was sick that day. And she had planned this fantastic volunteer day for us. Bummer!) We were getting exercise, bonding as team members and serving a park that could use a few volunteer hands to help lighten its load.
“We’ve always said the whole goal of CorComm Creative was to serve nonprofits and help our clients make a difference, so it’s nice to be able to roll up our sleeves and lend a hand for another nonprofit that needed help," CorComm communications manager Melissa Brown said as we reflected on the day. "Whether we’re pulling weeds or helping to promote an important service or event, it’s about helping to ease their load. And getting out in the sunshine is nice too!”
CorComm designer Jennifer Forrest agreed. "Giving back to the communities we work and live in helps to keep us grounded and to renew our sense of purpose, both in and outside of the workplace," she said.
Our purpose is to lift up those who lift up their communities. And we believe that if every business, every family and every individual would find a way to volunteer their time and talents in the communities in which they live, we live in a more peaceful and united society.
The United Nations puts it like this: "Volunteers are more likely to develop civic skills, to attach more importance to serving the public interest as a personal life goal and to be more politically active. Thus, in going about their voluntary activities, individuals are also cultivating an outlook that contributes to a social environment that nurtures the well-being of all."
Have an opportunity for volunteers — or a desire to volunteer?
We encourage you to find a way to volunteer in your community! Churches and other charities are a good place to start when looking for an opportunity. And, if you're an organization that could use volunteers, please add a comment below, sharing what opportunities you have for people who want to help. You never know who might be reading. Perhaps a potential volunteer match is just a blog post away.
"One person gives freely, yet gains even more." — Proverbs 11:24a
Photo captions, from top
1. From left: Corie, Melissa, Jen and Jodi grab a group selfie as we start our first trail.
2. Melissa grabs a handful of garlic mustard. You go, girl!
3. Jen and Jodi take a break for a photo. That's a garbage bag full of pulled weeds—one of several!
4. Four of the five CorComm Creative team members pose for a final photo at the end of the day. (We missed you, Kirsten!)