Seek fulfillment in volunteerism

Published 9:36 pm Thursday, January 30, 2020

It’s the last day of January, and this year has been a long one so far! If you’ve managed to slog through the dullest month of the year, you deserve congratulations — but you might also have had to give in a little bit on those New Year’s resolutions.

Let’s be honest, resolutions like exercising more and eating healthy are difficult to keep when it’s cold outside and you feel the need for warm comfort food. January is also a hard month to start trying to budget and save money, particularly if you put all of that Christmas stuff on credit and are now paying the price — literally.

But there’s one thing you can start doing now that doesn’t require any special date on the calendar, and that’s getting more involved with volunteering in your community.

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If you feel the need for more fulfillment and variety in your life, you might consider getting involved in a civic organization or charity, starting to attend or getting more involved with your church, volunteering at a local school — whether or not you have children there — or simply trying out a variety of things and seeing where you feel like you can make a difference.

Volunteerism is the lifeblood of our country, and we submit that the country would cease to run without it. The government and for-profit businesses cannot and will not do everything — it’s up to volunteers to make things happen.

The 2018 Volunteering in America report found that 77.34 million adults — 30.3 percent — volunteered through an organization. They worked nearly 6.9 billion hours, worth an estimated $167 billion in economic value. That was just the “formal volunteering.” Many more helped support friends, family or neighbors, went out and picked up trash in their neighborhood without the urging of a formal organization, or some other act of “informal volunteering.”

As a nod to this vital part of our community, we’ve started a new feature here at the paper called “Featured Volunteer.” It will run every other Wednesday, and we hope you got the chance to read this week about Jasmine Parham, who works with the Suffolk Humane Society.

If you are still looking to turn over a new leaf this year, try something new and get out and volunteer. You might just be the next one featured!