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A Pitch for Volunteerism

Our new Director of Advancement shared yesterday this piece of information about Volunteerism…

Helping others kindles happiness, as many studies have demonstrated. When researchers at the London School of Economics examined the relationship between volunteering and measures of happiness in a large group of American adults, they found the more people volunteered, the happier they were, according to a study in Social Science and Medicine. Compared with people who never volunteered, the odds of being “very happy” rose 7% among those who volunteer monthly and 12% for people who volunteer every two to four weeks. Among weekly volunteers, 16% felt very happy—a hike in happiness comparable to having an income of $75,000–$100,000 versus $20,000, say the researchers.

What an interesting and potentially profound impact volunteering makes in one’s life. 

I had the privilege last Thursday evening of attending the 2017 President’s Volunteer Service Awards, hosted by Volunteer Northwest Mississippi.  Of greater privilege, Baddour Center was represented by one of the regional award winners, Liz Callicott, of 2016 Dancing For Our Stars and “Uptown Funk” fame.  We are so proud of and thankful for Liz, and we’re equally proud of and thankful for the many others who willingly and freely share with us their time, talent, and treasure. 

I was particularly impressed with keynote speaker Rose Jackson Flenorl, a Mississippi native and an executive within FedEx’s Global Citizenship group, who recounted the example her father set for her and her siblings.  He met real needs in their community in consistent and practical ways.  I loved two of her quotes.  She describes “volunteering” [opportunities] as one’s way of voting on what he or she wants that community to be.  She also said (I believe quoting another), “He who travels the road best is the one who makes it better for those who follow.”  The entire evening was inspiring, hearing and learning about each award winner. 

I happen to be a Rotarian, and Rotary’s motto is “Service above self.  One profits most who serves best.”  I also keep sitting squarely in front of me, just above the computer screen on which I type this, another quote, “Your gifts are not about…Leadership is not about…Your purpose is not about…YOU.  A life of significance is about SERVING those who need your gifts, your leadership, your purpose.”  I often share this last quote whenever speaking in front of a large group.  The goal is to simply stir in people something that causes them to engage, get involved.  Of course, we would love to engage you at Baddour Center; but, there are many worthy causes, and we simply want to encourage you to share yourself.  Every one of you has something to offer.  Don’t horde your gifts.  Serve.  Volunteer.  

Posted by Parke Pepper at 11:16 AM

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