A couple of articles in Thursday's Journal-World have interesting points to make about volunteerism.
First, awards given Wednesday by the Roger Hill Volunteer Center point out that Lawrence is lucky to have many dedicated and effective volunteers. The centers award of excellence was presented posthumously this year to Patty Doria, who died in February, after serving in many volunteer capacities and as an employee of different social service agencies in Lawrence.
Three other awards honored Laura Brophy as student volunteer of the year, Donna Laushman as volunteer of the year, and the Health Care Access renovation project as the group volunteer project of the year. There were runners-up for each honor, and those selected only scratch the surface of the volunteers who give so much to Lawrence and Douglas County every day.
They work at Lawrence Memorial Hospital and volunteer through other agencies to help children grow up and develop into responsible adults. They help feed homeless people and read to those who can't read for themselves. They care for the sick and elderly and comfort the dying. In a thousand ways, they give their time and their efforts to make life better for someone else.
The other story in Thursday's J-W was about business and volunteerism. A survey conducted by the Washington-based Points of Light Foundation of 454 executives found that volunteer programs benefit companies as well as their communities. It was found that volunteer programs can help businesses build teamwork skills in their companies and even attract better employees. In fact, some of the companies considered the volunteer programs so valuable that they felt they couldn't afford to let them lapse.
Is there any better evidence that volunteerism is good for us all?
Being a volunteer doesn't cost anything, but its returns are many. There are many ways to volunteer. You can be a board member or you can pick up trash. Whether it's through your company or on your own, volunteering can help you as well as others. A lot of people giving even a little bit of time adds up to a lot of benefit for the community.