A Must-Read Memo for Volunteers

To: All volunteers, everywhere From: The bottom of our hearts Subj: Thank you!! Helping people. Helping animals. Helping the environment. Helping make the world a better place. And helping for free because a cause demands it. That’s what volunteers do, all over the world, every day. April 15-21 is National Volunteer Week, and AARP wants to say ‘thank you!’ to each and every volunteer. We see you volunteering in shelters, schools,

Too Old to Answer JFK’s Call? Nonsense!

Just before 2:00am on a chilly October night thousands of students at the University of Michigan became part of history as the 43-year-old presidential candidate stood on the steps of the Michigan Union and asked if they would embark on a journey that would take them potentially half way around the world to give assistance to underdeveloped nations and their people. John F. Kennedy was of course introducing his new international service organization that would later become the Peace Corps. …

Be a Force for Good on King Day of Service

Astute readers of this blog will recall that, in a recent post, I chided readers to view volunteering as a year-round pursuit, not just something to be done on certain special days of the year. While I am sticking to that stance, a certain special day is upon us so I must chide you to volunteer now, even if only for one day. That day is Monday, Jan. 16 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.

What can you do for your country?

In the endless spatter of political news and propaganda it is easy to miss important decisions that our leaders might be making. One is a potential cut in social programs to help pay for tax relief. If it’s not already clear how I feel about this, here’s the summary:

A Volunteer Memory to Last All Year

You are, no doubt, expecting to spend the next three minutes reading about how you should, in this season of thanks and giving, find time to volunteer to help those less fortunate. And, yes, that is one of my themes today. But I also want to suggest something today that – I hope – will help you be a more empathetic and consistent volunteer throughout the year.

Enriching Others, Enriching Yourself

I was in Rio de Janeiro last month and went into one of the city’s favelas, slums known primarily as vast zones of poverty, drug dealing and subsistence living. I went into the Vidigal favela on my own – not on the guided tours that typically bring tourists into the slums – because I’d heard of an unusual new guest house where tourists volunteer to help kids in the community.