What does your investment as a volunteer bring to an agency or an organization? It's not a rhetorical question, I'm asking for real. Think about it. Keep thinking. I'll wait.
OK. I've waited long enough. I've already thought about the question. Want to know what I think? I think your investment as a volunteer brings more value than any one of us would ever believe. Really. Here's a list, in no particular order of importance or relevence. Afterall, each volunteer is an individual. What's important to me may or may not be important you. So, the list...
- an original perspective - no agency or organization is going to survive if they always do things the way things have always been done. We all benefit when we look through the eyes of another.
- additional capacity - volunteers expand the cababilities of agencies the moment they walk in the door, pick up a shovel, open a book to read to a child
- specialized knowledge - sure, specialization is knowing more and more about less and less. We've all heard that line before. Now ignore it and be realistic. What can you, as a volunteer, do that most folks can't? Don't think for a moment that skill might just be in demand.
- energy - as a volunteer your arrive of your own free will, with a willingness, a readiness to make a difference. You can be the imspriation. The power of one is a mighty power indeed.
- objectivity - you don't have preconcieved notions, baggage, or fatigue. This is especially true when it comes to serving the needs of the community.
- attention - as a volunteer you enjoy the luxury of an acute attention to the task at hand. Tune in, turn on, drop out. You're a volunteer.
- credibility - bet you didn't think about that one, did you? As a volunteer you don't have so many vested intrests in an agency or organization. People see you volunteering and it makes them think: If she's volunteering, maybe I need to do it too? If he thinks it's important to volunteer for Agency X, then Agency X must be more important than I realized.