Books inspire volunteers to step up, help out—January 7, 2010
Ordinary people can make an extraordinary difference simply by volunteering. To volunteer is to be an everyday hero in our world, in our community and in someone’s life.
I have worked as a volunteer coordinator for nearly 19 years and have seen first hand what an impact just one person can make. . .and 200 library volunteers together can move a mountain (of book sale books, that is)!
Visionary, Bill Shore, says it better than I, in his memoir, “The Cathedral Within.” I believe everyone who reads this book will feel compelled to step up and give back to their world.
Shore is the founder of “Share Our Strength,” a national nonprofit organization that supports anti-hunger and anti-poverty efforts worldwide. His book introduces community leaders he met in his travels. These leaders, who by building important new “cathedrals” within their communities, demonstrate how giving back can transform lives, including their own.
Among those leaders featured are a Denver chef who committed his life to ending hunger, and the director of the Chicago Children’s Choir which provides thousands of children with an introduction to music.
Shore has motivated tens of thousands of individuals to contribute their own talents to help others. He says, "All of us have strengths we need to share. The challenge lies in creating vehicles that enable diverse individuals to do so. . .Sharing strength is as valuable as donating money. Sometimes it's worth more, because it cannot be bought."
A handbook to building a better world, “The Idealist.org” can turn anyone’s good intentions into actions that make a real difference.
Idealist.org is a nonprofit organization that facilitates connections between individuals and organizations interested in improving their communities. Author Stephanie Land claims her book is directed at people who dream big yet appreciate how little it takes to make a difference, people who have decided they do not want to stand on the sidelines when there’s so much to be done to make the world a better place.
This book is a good resource that can empower anyone to make an impact by entering the volunteer workforce. It identifies opportunities for students, stay-at-home parents, professionals and retirees.
Particularly targeting youth, “A Student’s Guide to Volunteering,” presents detailed information and resources available for getting involved with community service. Six fields of public service most open to teen participation are identified - among them, education, environment and politics. I recommend this book to teens (and their parents) who are interested in gaining valuable experience that could enhance their education as well as future career opportunities.
There’s a special chicken soup recipe that calls for just a pinch of time, yet yields a bushel of personal growth and awareness. “Chicken Soup for the Volunteer’s Soul,” is a collection of heart-warming stories that celebrate the spirit of courage, caring and community.
While there are volunteer opportunities at our public library (call me!), there are agencies throughout our community that will welcome your helping hands. Let a book from Hastings Public Library inspire you to make a difference!