Volunteers don’t get paid – not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless

Today’s column is not about the economy or the erosion of common sense in our society.  It’s not about the housing market becoming collateral damage for the collapse of the financial markets.

It’s about volunteering.  Don’t worry, I’m not a do-gooder that goes around hugging trees and children and stuff.  Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Volunteering is about connecting with our community, the one we all live in. Most non-profits depend on volunteers to carry on their day to day operations. In today’s economic climate, the number of volunteers has dwindled.

And you don’t need money.  Not a dime.  Money broke up with me in 2008 and I really regret not treating it better.   But I’ve regressed.  All that is required to volunteer is some of your time.

One thing I’ve never had to do is miss a meal unless it was my choice. If you volunteer at one of the many food banks you could have your heart wrenched out of you by the drawn faces of the families that rarely get enough to eat.

Most of us are blessed with family and friends.  Visit with an elderly person that has outlived everyone they have loved and you will be rewarded with a look of peaceful thankfulness.

We have homes to go to every evening and clothes to wear. Volunteering forces you to look into eyes that are desperate for opportunities, even if that opportunity is a clean shirt or shelter for a night.  It makes you go home and hug your dog or cat after seeing a shelter full of abandoned and mistreated animals.

It takes the focus off of our problems.  It doesn’t cost you a thing but a little humility and possible gratefulness of what you have in your life.

In Arizona there are many facilitates that are desperate for volunteers… from food banks such as St. Mary’s or Paz de Cristo to Hospice organizations, Boys and Girls Clubs, Child Crisis Centers and animal shelters.

For a quick list go to the following:


Eric McAllister