Speak Up for Service Day: The Endless Rewards of Volunteering

From the earliest memories of my childhood, the ethos of community service has been deeply ingrained in me, as one of the oldest among 21 cousins on my mom’s side and, conversely, one of the youngest among more than 20 on my dad’s side, the act of extending a helping hand has been second nature. This familial backdrop has always set the stage for my lifelong commitment to service, whether in military duty or volunteering.

Having volunteered with over 100 organizations and participated in more than 1000 events throughout my lifetime, I’ve experienced firsthand the multifaceted benefits of dedicating one’s time and energy to causes greater than oneself. Here are just a few reasons that might inspire you to engage in volunteer work:
Recently, I was immensely honored to receive the ‘Volunteer of the Year’ award from the Sandwich Chamber. And while the recognition was humbling, the platform it provided was even more invaluable. It allowed me to address local businesses, emphasizing the importance of mutual support not only during challenging times but consistently and unwaveringly. Because when businesses and individuals come together in the spirit of community service, the collective impact can be monumental.

  1. A Deep Sense of Fulfillment: Every act of service contributes to the well-being of others, bringing a profound sense of purpose and satisfaction.
  2. Growth & Learning: Volunteering is a gateway to acquiring new skills and gaining unique experiences that often lead to both personal and professional growth.
  3. Building Bridges: The bonds and friendships cultivated in the process are irreplaceable. It offers an opportunity to connect with diverse individuals and expand one’s horizons.
  4. Boosting Mental Well-being: Beyond the tangible, there’s an undeniable mental upliftment and sense of achievement tied to volunteering.
  5. Championing Causes: Volunteering offers a platform to support and advocate for causes close to your heart.
  6. Creating Ripple Effects: The spirit of volunteerism can influence others, fostering a community-wide culture of generosity and mutual support.

So, as we commemorate Speak Up for Service Day, I pose a question to each one of you: Where do you plan on volunteering one final time this year? Every act, no matter how small, has the potential to make a world of difference. Let’s end this year on a note of service, continuing the legacy of giving and ensuring that the spirit of volunteerism remains alive and thriving.