Volunteer Recognition Day
Some cynics will argue that true altruism doesn’t exist and that no one is capable of doing anything except for their own selfish ends.
Even the most grumpy cynics will have a hard time explaining why anyone would choose to travel to the poorest areas of the globe, where war, hunger and sickness ravage the population, and death is almost as common as life, in order to care for orphaned kids.
It is also not clear why someone of middle class would want to spend their afternoons teaching teenagers in the most violent, gang-ridden area of town how to read. Why would a nurse risk their life to help wounded soldiers at the front?
Although volunteers come in many shapes and sizes they are still the true heroes and saints of the world. Volunteers don’t always ask for compensation, but they certainly deserve our respect and appreciation. This is why Volunteer Recognition Day exists.
For hundreds of years, people have been willing to risk their safety to help others. Ben Franklin, one of America’s Founding Fathers, was also the founder of the first volunteer fire department, which helped to put out many Philadelphia fires.
Florence Nightingale was often called the “mother of modern nursing” because she treated the wounded and was a hero just like the soldiers in the Crimean War. Agatha Christie, a renowned author of whodunits, volunteered to be a nurse in the Voluntary Aid Detachment of the Red Cross Hospital Torquay between 1914 and 1917 while her husband Archie was fighting in World War I.
Mother Theresa of Calcutta was a Catholic nun who spent her entire life helping people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy, and tuberculosis. Angelina Jolie and other Hollywood stars have been making numerous trips to impoverished areas of the globe in recent years to learn about the issues of the people there and to find solutions. These people, and many others, have made a lasting impact on the world.
You have many options to celebrate this day so that you honor those who have given their lives to help the poor and forgotten. You can find a way to help someone, but this doesn’t mean that you have to move to third world countries.
There are many people in your community who have suffered a difficult life and need help. Animal shelters are full of lonely animals in desperate need of someone to snuggle up to.
Choose a cause you are passionate about and give your time to help someone else. You’ll likely find this experience rewarding than any salary.