by David DeFord
What if every person on earth volunteered for eight hours each month? What impact would 624 billion volunteer hours per year have on the world? Would the world enjoy any improvements? Of course, I have performed no empirical study, but I imagine the following changes.
Federal, state or provincial, and local taxes would decline by more than half. People would no longer expect their governments to satisfy every need of the poor, the sick, the developmentally disabled, the homeless, and the elderly. Thus tax collections could be reduced sharply. Neighbors would take care of each another.
With the governments pinching less money from their citizens and corporations, the prices of good and services would fall. The economies of every nation would improve, and poverty would nearly vanish.
The arts would flourish as people could afford to patronize them, and volunteers would enable reduced expenses.
The quality of education would advance because legions of volunteers would make possible one-on-one student mentoring.
Crime rates would plummet as people would feel greater love for their neighbors. With enhanced education and economic opportunities fewer young people would descend into lives of crime.
Depression and other emotional problems would ease and the collective self-esteem and hope would rise. The “helper’s high” endorphins would energize and comfort each volunteer; and feelings of abandonment would subside. The spirit of Christmas would last all year.
The negative cultural effects of television would dwindle as people would waste less time in its hypnotic clutches.
World peace? Maybe.
Do you think I’m exaggerating the impact of volunteering? I don’t think so. The compounding effect of neighbor caring for neighbor cannot be calculated.
I only exaggerate in hoping that every person in the world will volunteer. But, what if a tenth of the world’s people served others a few hours each week? Would 62.4 billion volunteer hours per year have any power for good?
Since a tenth part of the world’s population doesn’t subscribe to my e-zine, I can only influence you.
If you choose volunteering you will add more meaning and significance to your life. You will feel your attitude improve toward those not like you. You will find that volunteering fills many of the needs you previously hoped your employment would satisfy.
You need not journey to some remote village in Guatemala to contribute to the world. Children, homeless, ill, and elderly live right in your community. If I could, I would furnish you a list of agencies in your town who need your help. I can’t. But below I have listed some links to world-wide organizations that likely need help in your area.
Please make your mark. Find a need and fill it. You can change the world.
Red Cross www.redcross.org
Peace Corps www.peacecorps.org
Choice Humanitarian www.choicehumanitarian.org
National Council of the Boy Scouts of America www.bsa.scouting.org
Girl Scouts www.girlscouts.org
Foster Grandparents www.seniorcorps.org
The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp www.holeinthewallgang.org
Ronald McDonald House Charities www.rmhc.com
Adopt-a Grandparent www.adopt-a-grandparent.org
Turtle Time, Inc. www.turtletime.org
Tree Musketeers www.treemusketeers.org
The Humane Society of the United States www.hsus.org
North American Riding for the Handicapped Association www.narha.org
Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic www.rfbd.org
Compeer Program www.compeer.org
Special Olympics, Inc. www.specialolympics.org
Hospice Net www.hospicenet.org
Spare Key Foundation www.sparekey.org
Muscular Dystrophy Association www.mdausa.org
The American Cancer Society www.cancer.org
United Service Organization World Headquarters www.uso.org
Appalachia Service Project, Inc. www.asphome.org
Teen Missions International, Inc. www.teenmissions.org
Habitat for Humanity International www.habitat.org
Prison Fellowship Ministries www.prisonfellowship.org
SHARE, an organization for bereaved families www.nationalshareoffice.com
Points of Light Foundation & Volunteer Center National Network www.1800volunteer.org
True independence and freedom can only exist in doing what's right. Brigham Young
Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It's not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it's when you've had everything to do, and you've done it. Margaret Thatcher
Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day. Sally Koch
I have never been especially impressed by the heroics of people convinced that they are about to change the world, I am more awed by those who struggle to make one small difference after another. Ellen Goodman
A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives. Jackie Robinson
I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be honorable, to be compassionate. It is, after all, to matter: to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all. Leo C. Rosten
In every community, there is work to be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal. In every heart, there is the power to do it. Marianne Williamson
I have recently entered into an agreement with the publisher HCI. This company publishes the best-selling series, Chicken Soup for the Soul. I read Chicken Soup for the Writer's Soul and found it very inspiring. You can go to their website by going to
Chicken Soup for the Volunteer's Soul
I have recently entered into an agreement with the publisher HCI. This company publishes the best-selling series, Chicken Soup for the Soul. I recently read Chicken Soup for the Writer's Soul and found it very inspiring. You can go to their website by going to
Here are some of their excellent titles:
Chicken Soup for the Soul
Chicken Soup to Inspire a Woman’s Soul
Chicken Soup for the Unsinkable Soul
Chicken Soup for the Volunteer's Soul
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