The Word — Time to show some volunteer love

Published 9:00 am Sunday, October 30, 2022

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Franklin founded The Union Fire Company in Philadelphia, which is considered the first volunteer fire company of its kind in America. Shortly thereafter, volunteer fire companies popped up all over the place. Did you know that roughly 70% of Virginia firefighters are volunteers who help a little over 550 fire departments for our great commonwealth? The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) in 2020 estimated that there were around 1,041,200 firefighters in America and 65% of those across our great Nation were volunteers.

Fire Prevention Week was just a couple weeks ago. The volunteers in your area don’t get enough credit. Those who volunteer give their time, talents, finances, and SO much more…freely to make life better. Albert Schweitzer said, “Wherever you turn, you can find someone who needs you. Even if it is a little thing, do something for which there is no pay but the privilege of doing it. Remember, you don’t live in the world all of your own.” Elizabeth Andrew said, “Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.” And, this unknown quote is oh-so-beautifully powerful:

“Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in”.

Being a volunteer is such an amazing way to give back to the world around you while being the good needed. Proverbs 3:27 challenges us by saying:

“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due when it is in your power to act.” Galatians 6:2 tell us to “carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Philippians 2:4 says to “not look to your own interests but to the interests of others.” Heck, even Jesus told us that He “didn’t come to be served, BUT TO SERVE (Mark 10:45).”

It’s hard being a volunteer. Meetings take away from family time. Training is non-stop. Someone always needs your help. More often than not, volunteers get run down, beat up, yelled at, cursed, fussed at for being late, taking too long, not doing it right, not doing what we want them to do, etc.

How about this…why don’t you or your church family find out when local volunteers are meeting and bring them supper, or ice cream, or pies/ cakes.

Why not make a donation to help cover costs. Why not simply write a “Thank You” card to show some appreciation. Volunteers are heroes. Be one! And, if you can’t be one…support and build up the ones you have!

Show some volunteer love.

Rev. J. Cameron Bailey is pastor of Kenbridge Christian Church. He can be reached at jamescameronbailey@gmail. com.