Thoughts on Volunteers


A wise man once said that “nothing gets done without volunteers” and he was right. Think about what happens every day all around you.

Many people assume that someone is being paid for jobs that are routine and that have to be done. If there’s a parade there usually are no paid personnel organizing and running it. If there’s a fishing derby the organizers are probably all volunteers. If there’s a food bank or clothing bank or some other organization helping people it’s probably not staffed by paid people. If there is a group helping citizens with their multiple personal needs that arise, it’s probably run by volunteers. The lawn in front of a public building probably is being mowed by a volunteer and they are taking care of flowers and other things too. If there’s a group picking up the trash along the side of the highway or the nearest beach or picnic area it’s probably being done by volunteers. If there’s a fire and you or your property is threatened there are highly trained volunteers who come to the rescue. If you are injured and need medical help, more of those highly trained volunteers come to the rescue. There are volunteers that you don’t see or know about that train to assist in the event of a disaster and the list goes on.

These are just a few thoughts when thinking about things like memorials too. In Forks alone, there are several monuments and places that can say thank you to volunteers for much of the work that is done.

The local cemetery is decorated with United States flags for the annual holidays we celebrate and the work is done by volunteers. One person, in particular, has spent a lifetime making sure the flags are out to honor the veterans buried there.

A prominent public figure once invested time and money into different monuments around the West End and passed the legacy along to other volunteers who now care for the Nikolai memorial.

A group of veterans voted on trying to obtain a very special monument called the “Gold Star Memorial” that honors every family of a veteran who served our country and a group of volunteers formed a fundraising committee to raise the needed funds for building that memorial. They raised funds, prepared the property, promoted the monument, and even were fortunate enough to have the creator of the monument volunteer to come and dedicate the monument. Volunteers are still working on the monument until they reach their final goal.

At this time volunteers are a dearly needed commodity. It’s not enough that people don’t want to work or can’t find work. But volunteers, especially younger ones are needed and appreciated. Take a minute, look around, see what needs to be done, and think about becoming a volunteer. Just remember, you’re not doing it for recognition although it often comes. And you are not doing it for money. You are doing it for the good of your family, your neighbors, your city, and your friends. And if you go somewhere where volunteers are trying to help you in a difficult situation remember what was printed on a pin for a volunteer at a special event called the Rose Festival; “SMILE, I’M A VOLUNTEER”

For the people that have volunteers helping them please remember why volunteers are lost!

People Don’t Quit Volunteering Because they are Too Busy They Quit Because …

The Top Seven Reasons Volunteers Quit

By Thomas W. McKee

7: No flexibility in volunteer opportunities or scheduling

6: Too much wasted time in useless or unproductive meetings

5: Lack of communication

4: Lack of professionalism

3: The feeling that the volunteer is not really making a difference

2: No feedback from leadership about how the volunteer is doing

1: The volunteer leader who doesn’t know how to lead

Joe Wright (Volunteer)