As we approach our 30th Anniversary, we asked one of our volunteers “why they continue to give their gifts”. We could not think of a better person than Ellen Irwin. Following is Ellen’s answer…..
I am thinking about why I have volunteered for Family Support Line, as a group leader, as a board member, as a fund raiser, as an event organizer, as an envelope stuffer, as a what-ever-was-needed, for 30 years. The reason is because life is short and when mine is over, I want to know I’ve lived it to its fullest.
I spend a good deal of my life caring for my family and working at my paying job to pay the bills and have a few luxuries. But is that enough? In the end, will the world be any better off because I was here? I feel it is my obligation to spend /*some*/ of my life’s energy in service to making my world a little better. Imagine if everyone else did too! What a world it would be! But I am just one little person. My motto is this “I can’t do everything, but I can do something”.
In a way, it is kind of selfish – maybe I sleep better at night knowing I contribute SOMETHING. We have all experienced how the act of giving nourishes the soul. I may not be rich enough to make much of an impact with my check book, but I can give time, energy and talent (what little that may be) in a way that absolutely makes a difference to the community being served. That feels good.
A secondary gain to volunteering are the amazing circle of people who were added to my life. When you volunteer with people, you forge a special bond. I now have friends from every walk of life that I wouldn’t otherwise have had the opportunity to know, to learn from, and to be inspired by. I can’t imagine my story without them and our many shared experiences. Truly, volunteering has been as much for me as for the community I serve. Without a doubt, I have received more than I have given.
If you’re interested in volunteering, please email Kathleen@familysupportline.org