Today’s Editorial December 5: Honour volunteers today

Looking for something meaningful to do with your life today?

Volunteer.

Today is International Volunteer Day.

It’s one day set aside every 5 December to recognize the efforts that so many make to offer comfort, aid and service.

But really, International Volunteer Day should be every day.

We become most aware of volunteers during times of disaster, such as tsunamis, earthquakes and hurricanes.

But true volunteers work tirelessly every day.

Without them agencies like the Cayman Islands Red Cross couldn’t function.

The Cayman Islands Humane Society would be hard pressed to find foster homes and walkers for its animals without volunteers.

There are volunteers each year who help make Pirates Week such a success and volunteers frequently gather to help keep our beaches and communities clean.

We saw the efforts and results of many volunteers after Hurricane Ivan in 2004. They helped get tarpaulins over gaping roofs, fed neighbours, offered shelter and provided comfort.

Volunteers are around us every day doing many chores without pay.

For them, satisfaction comes not in a paycheque, but in self satisfaction of knowing they’ve helped out their fellow man.

According to the online encyclopaedia Wikipedia, a volunteer is someone who serves in a community primarily because he or she choose to.

Motives for volunteering run a wide range.

Some volunteers do so because their actions benefit others. Some volunteer because serving the community makes their own life better.

Many people involved in organizations that use volunteers help out because they have been helped at some point by such an organization.

And some folks volunteer because they see it as a sense of duty, especially in smaller communities.

Volunteering offers extended experiences outside the workplace and it provides a good way to meet a lot of different people with the potential of making new friends.

If you are a regular volunteer, we say thank you for your time, energy and efforts.

If you happen upon a volunteer today, thank him or her for their hard work.

And if you’re looking for something worthwhile to do, call one of the many agencies in the Cayman Islands that make use of dedicated volunteers and sign yourself up.

You’ll be glad you did.

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