I have worked with a lot of volunteers in my careers as a teacher, guidance counselor, coach, business executive and as a volunteer. As a retiree for a little over a year, I continue to volunteer for Salem County’s Disability Advisory Board, the Resources for Independent Living Board and the Garden State Film Festival in Asbury Park, NJ. I learned about the value of being a volunteer from members of my family. Service to others was part of living a full life and was expected. As I watch my son Jonathan volunteer, I see the possibility that my grandson Jackson will do the same.
Unfortunately, with everyone’s busy and complicated lives, volunteerism is down and this affects the lives and opportunities of people (children through the aged) in our communities. I am encouraged by the news reports of volunteers that participated in Monday’s Martin Luther King’ s day of service programs, but I want to encourage volunteerism throughout the year. Sometimes people think that they don’t have the ability to volunteer. Everyone has the ability to volunteer if they look for opportunities. Contact a local food bank, a social services agency, a recreation program, a school and the list goes on. Help change someone’s life, and your own, be a volunteer.