1. MainerMikeBrown
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    MainerMikeBrown Contributing Member

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    Volunteer Work Really Is Appreciated By Others

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by MainerMikeBrown, May 27, 2013.

    Some people say that performing volunteer work is often appreciated, while others say that their’s often no thanks in trying to help people and the community via volunteer work.

    I’ve done a lot of volunteer work over the years. And I’ve found that how much you’re appreciated by others for doing volunteer work depends where you spend time to volunteer.

    Over the years, I’ve volunteered my time at nursing homes, as I visit lonely residents. I’ve found that a great deal of the residents really appreciate me taking time out of my schedule to visit them. I’ve also found that many people appreciate me helping out libraries, as I stock book shelves and do other forms of manual labor. I also used to volunteer as a cook for a teen center. The adults running the center were thankful for my time and efforts. And volunteering at a local farm has also been a good experience for me, as the farm manager never fails to remind me that my help is appreciated.

    So for anyone who says that volunteer work isn’t appreciated, I say they’re concluding too quickly that they’re work goes unappreciated, because their’s many opportunities to volunteer in which you will be appreciated.
     
  2. Nee
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    Nee Contributing Member

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    I have been volunteering for community projects for many years: it is not only good for the community but is a great way to meat people, exchange knowledge, find out what the actual needs of the community actually are, and is also a great way to get paying gigs as well.
     
  3. Michael O
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    Michael O Contributing Member

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    You're a good man Mike of Mainer.

    Reminds me of a family who escaped East Germany and somehow found their way to Lower Alabama through the Catholic Church. As Father O'Brien showed the father of five a three-bedroom house that would be available for his family once his children and wife arrived, there was no mistaking the look of appreciation in his eyes.

    But there was more to come for us, we learned just how miserable life was under communist rule.

    Once the tour of the house was over the man was so pleased but did have one question..."How many other families will live here with us?"

    The man thought Father O'Brien was joking when he told him the house was for his family and no others.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    if volunteering to help the needy just because they need help and we're able to provide some [which is the only reason one should be volunteering], then it won't matter if we're 'appreciated' or not...

    but if it's being done expecting or hoping to get anything back, then it's not an unselfish/altruistic gift of one's time and energy, but a self-serving act... [no offense intended, as i'm not referring to anyone here, just speaking generally]

    only 'open-handed' giving--not even needing a 'thank you'--is a true gift to others... if waiting to be thanked, or expecting/hoping to get any benefit out of it other than the good feeling that results from being helpful to those who need help, that can be seen and sensed by folks who are already feeling ashamed by having to accept help, which can lead to not being thanked...

    on the other hand, if we do give 'open-handedly' of our time and energy to others, expecting nothing in return, it's very likely that there will be 'bonus' side effects that may benefit us in a more tangible way than simply feeling good about having eased others' pain/sorrow/struggle to survive... it seems to be the universe balancing things out a bit, that by doing good to others selflessly, good will come to us, as well...

    the most selfless volunteers go wherever their abilities can be of the most help to others, regardless of how likely it is that they'll be thanked or appreciated for it there... those places tend to be ones where personal payback like thanks and being appreciated are in short supply, if found at all... sadly, there are many more of those situations than the 'choice' ones... in 1997, after giving away all i owned and making myself homeless and possessionless on purpose, i lived in and helped run homeless shelters in three states, for over 2 years and know all too well how hard it is for some of the farthest down and out folks to appreciate what's being done for them... mental illness, alcoholism and drug addiction, hopelessness, and fear are barriers that even the most loving care-giver finds impossible to break through, at times...

    anyway, i guess the bottom line i've been rambling my way to here is that those who need our help the most are often the ones who are least capable of showing their appreciation or gratitude, so giving them a hand despite that, would be doing the good-est of all good deeds...

    love and hugs, maia
     
  5. Michael O
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    Michael O Contributing Member

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    Known teachers to volunteer at schools, students to volunteer at hospitals and all hoped their time donated would lead to employment. They could have been working elsewhere but chose to volunteer.

    Never look a gift horse in the mouth.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i don't... people can be self-serving and still be helpful to others... i was addressing the op's mention of:

     
  7. Nee
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    Nee Contributing Member

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    From the point of view of someone who has seen plenty of shit, who cares what the motivation is for volunteering, what matters is getting people out there, getting involved with the world they live in. Standing around deciding who's good deed is worthy of being called an actual good deed based on perceived motivations is ridiculous. If care in any way about your world get out and do something about making it a little better. It's not as if it's hard to find need...its's everywhere. Writers for instance, can help out the public libraries--they are always in need of some kind of help. So let narcissism take care of itself--it always does. Just get out and do something.
     
  8. mg357
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    mg357 Active Member

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    I have done volunteer work and the work was always very rewarding but for some reason I always got a terrible boss, aside from that I enjoyed the volunteer work that I did.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    who/whose post is that aimed at, nee?

    if me/mine, you seem to have overlooked the part in my post where i mentioned having lived in and helped run homeless shelters, which was certainly 'get[ting] out there and do[ing] something'... that, however, was only the start of my 'doing something'... for the record, since then, i've been doing nothing but helping others wherever i go, having been helping writers all over the world by email and in person for over a dozen years now, plus having started and run a free books and donation center for the needy folks on the island of tinian, for nearly 6 years... i didn't want to mention all of that, as it would seem to be blowing my own horn, so i only mentioned the shelters...

    if aimed at someone else, i heartily agree that people should 'just get out and do something' instead of 'standing around' assessing the worth of others' good deeds... which i don't think i did... or at least didn't intend to do, so if anything i said seems to be implying that, i apologize, even though it was unintentional... any good deed is better than none...
     

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