Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Art of Volunteering


Today i went to the National Day Celebration in Johnsonville again (twice now including this year). Same organizer (NZMS) but the event was better organized compared to last year. Even the “volunteers” were very well-managed. That's us. The Umno committee, apparently. :)

The word "volunteers" clings to my mind so frequently this year. The truth is, I'm responsible for finding volunteers, on various occasions apart from being a volunteer myself. Some volunteers are so easy to catch especially if there’s a good offer comes with the job. Surely, there will be time when it becomes a hassle to find manpower sometimes. Honestly speaking, it depends on what their helps are needed for.

Volunteers are just like a biscuit. Sometimes they are there and sometimes they just disappeared. “puff!” That is why even volunteers need to be managed. Not that I practice autocratic or anything, but it’s just a way to make sure that their participation is consistent with the demand of help. Easier said than done. I failed numerous times and sacrifice my own time instead. and that’s when the true challenge of “volunteering” comes.

Definition of Voluntary: Of your own free will or design; done by choice; not forced or compelled

Simply said, volunteer is a person who performs the voluntary work. The key word is, Free Will. I’ve met so many people with this free will of helping out with whatever they can , whenever they could, and wherever they are needed. Sometimes, they came without even requested. They offer themselves at many unexpected point in my life. when i truly need someone and couldn’t even mouth the word “help”. I truly admire them from the bottom of my heart. I called these people “On The Spot Volunteer”.

The “One-off volunteer” is usually needed only for certain events. It may not take a long time. Probably just a day or two but it certainly requires commitments. This kind of volunteer is quite hard to get, normally due to time constraints and the degree of commitments required. But if I could gather these highly committed people, they are actually the best. They respond very well to instructions and cooperate very well with each other. On top of it, they will try to enjoy themselves on that particular events. (For this kind of volunteers, I think sometimes I violate my role in certain clubs and actually “kindly ask” people to help because they are usually the best people that I could rely on, because of the short time given to find volunteers)

“The long time volunteers” is usually needed to perform certain voluntary work for a long period of time. Any social work included (tutoring, caregiving, babysitting etc). These works are usually very attractive but again requires highly committed people because the works are mostly time consuming and requires regular visits. It needs dedications, passion and patience to cope with the challenges. Over time, there will be many people falling out from the “free will” and leaves. It depends on our heart. Perhaps our hearts are getting bored of the same routine of our services. But it could be that the services change our hearts and made us more attached to what we’re doing. It is how our hearts and minds decide whether what we’re doing is highly rewarding to ourselves or not.

To continue volunteering, or just quit?

To offer helps, or just sit down watching?

To become someone useful, or to be used?

To be a noble, or simply a babbler?

To enjoy life, or to give life?

Surely we cannot do everything, especially on our own. But isn’t it wonderful to do “something” at least?


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