Volunteerism is Alive and Well

08.18.09 | Dr. Stephen Coleman | Comments[2]

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I'm very proud of how citizens in both the Empire and Keystone states are pitching in to make a difference in their communities. USA Today recently reported that -- despite the economy -- more and more Americans have been donating their time, energy, and effort to make a difference for the better in their communities in what a federal official calls a "compassion boom."

Indeed, Americans are "giving back" to their communities in many ways: volunteering in hospitals, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, food banks, helping the elderly, working with young people, building houses for the poor, and so on. This increased community activity falls within the proud American tradition of volunteerism and community service, a tradition that dates back to the founding of our great republic. It is especially refreshing to see tens of millions of Americans pitching in to make a difference in tough times.

At the end of the day, citizens can make a huge difference for the better in the communities in which they reside. The politicians and bureaucrats in places like Albany and Harrisburg can only do so much and sometimes that means not very much. Witness the problems in both Albany and Harrisburg since June.

The fact is that everyday Americans working to make their neighborhoods and communities better places to live can do so much more than the politicians and bureaucrats.

On a final note: I invite people to send me their comments. I would like to read more comments from people on the air. Comment below, or send me an email.

cc-wetm - tv- Dr. Coleman also airs commentaries and a public affairs program on WETM 18 Elmira. For more information on these programs, go to wetmtv.com.


Your Comments(please keep them on topic and polite)

on 08.20.09 Tony Cruickshank commented

Hi Dr. Coleman,
I really appreciated your article and hearing how the giving of time and 'sweat equity' has increased. Unfortunately, financial donations are down for the first time in over two decades. Let's be honest-it's harder for many of us to give money than it was a year ago.

In response to the challenge, we have just launched a new free website from down here in the Catskills that gives its users savings through the use of online coupons and discounts. As the site receives income from the coupon suppliers, it will in turn donate 60% of all profits to the ministries and causes that the users select.

For every hundred people who clip coupons on a weekly basis, there would be a combined savings of about $130,000 per year and non-profits wold derive about $1,200 in donations. Of course, there's nothing to say that a person could not also contribute a portion of the money they have saved to charities and good causes as well.
Tony Cruickshank, Ministry/Media Relations, CommonKindness

on 09.07.09 Robert Gunderson commented

I am a small business owner and would like to thank you for your commentary about volunteerism. I know that I would not be in business for long if I didn't have selfless volunteers behind the scenes making our operations run smoothly. I wish the government did more to help those who give of their time to benefit small business and not-for-profits. They give so much back to the community. Talk about cost-effectiveness.