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I love to volunteer. If I didn’t need to pay for necessities in life I would probably want to volunteer full time. I get a great amount of satisfaction in giving of my time and talents. Of course I say that knowing that my personal mantra is “no good deed goes unpunished.”

Volunteering is a gift. A gift you give to another person or organization. We can define a gift as something you give and you don’t expect to receive anything in return. Expecting something in return makes it a transaction and a whole new set of rules some into play at this point.

I believe I first read this in Seth Godin’s book Linchpin. “Volunteering is a gift” has become my new mantra and is starting to replace my original mantra “no good deed goes unpunished.” It has pretty much made it irrelevent.

The focus of my volunteering efforts is with the Boy Scouts of America. I volunteer at the council, district and local level. I give of my time to help other scout leaders as well as the scouts I serve. I put in a lot of time serving others. It’s a gift, I don’t expect anyone to put in as much time as I do.

Even though I put in a lot of time with the scouts I can’t do it on my own. Not for one minute. I depend on other leaders at all levels across scouting and they depend on volunteers like myself. “The Power of We” is what drives scouting. Sure, there are professional scouters who are paid but the vast majority of the scout leaders are volunteers. Expecially at the unit level which are the Cub Scout Packs, Boy Scout Troops and Venture Crews.

In every unit you will find one or more leaders who spend a great deal of time organizing and leading the scouts and other leaders. But in each one of these units there are volunteers who make the unit work. These people may be accountants who want to help with the bookkeeping. They may be a web developer who takes on the role of webmaster. It might be that one guy who lives to lead songs and skits. There are many volunteer positions like these that need filliing.

My favorite volunteer is the parent who has a child so excited about cub scouts that he volunteers to lead a den of boys even though he has no prior experience in scouts. Other favorite volunteers are those that don’t want to lead a ceremony, they don’t want to wear a uniform and they don’t want to organize an event. They will cut wood and wash dishes at campouts and spend an entire day helping run the pinewood derby race. All important jobs. The Power of We is what makes these events work.

We need your help. Not just in Boy Scouts but in organizations across this land. Which one do you have a passion for? How much time you can spend with that group? Do you have a skill that they need? The Power of We is what makes these organizations work and what make our country great.



This post is a part of Blog Action Day 2012

Founded in 2007, Blog Action Day brings together bloggers from different countries, interests and languages to blog about one important global topic on the same day. Past topics have included water, climate change, poverty and food with thousands of blogs, big and small, taking part.

This year the theme is the Power of We. You can find out more about the theme and why it was selected on the Blog Action Day blog.

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Shawn Wright
Shawn Wright is a graphic designer and podcaster living in Birmingham, Alabama. You can find his design work at shawnwright.net. You can find his podcasts, Alabama Short Stories at alabamashortstories.com and the Shades Cahaba Oral History Project podcast at shadescahabahistory.com. His designs are for sale at TeePublic.com, Redbubble.com and Society6.com.
Shawn Wright
Shawn Wright

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