Looking on the Bright Side

Volunteers, sometimes by choice, sometimes by necessity are those who give of themselves by giving time, assets, or both for the benefit of others.
Whether partly compensated or unpaid, the motive of true volunteers is to provide for the benefit of others. Volunteers come from all walks of life and all ages, and they are as diverse as the needs that they serve. Volunteers show the better side of humanity as they try to fill the gaps in our system. When public money or assistance is not available and there is no financial profit in it, both governments and businesses stay out. It becomes up to volunteers to do what is needed or it won’t be done. Volunteering is an act that is freely done for the benefit of others. It can be anywhere from a few minutes of help, to a life time commitment, or a donation from a few dollars to a small fortune. It is this Volunteer Spirit, and the desire and willingness to help others that has been the heart and soul of our country. Those who volunteer their time, money or efforts for a worthwhile cause should be commended, but often go without recognition.

Some of the wonderful organizations that use volunteers to great success are the Lake Geneva Museum, Friends of the Lake Geneva Public Library, Lakeland Animal Shelter, the free medical clinic in Elkhorn and the Volunteers of Aurora Lakeland Medical Center. Volunteering creates a rewarding feeling in the volunteers, as they get to see the immediate results of their effort or donation. However, there are those individuals and businesses both profit and “non-profit” that take advantage of volunteers and their caring and generous nature. They prey on the emotions and generosity of volunteers. What percent of a volunteer’s efforts and donations are actually used to support the cause, versus the organization, its advertising or image? Volunteers offer free help, time and money and in many cases they are isolated from direct access to those that they wish to help. This forces volunteers to offer their time, effort or money through an organization that controls the collection, use and distribution of the funds.

There are good and honest non-profits, but there are those that are not and it is difficult to know which are which and often they are not what they appear to be. Just because an organization gives support to the poor with donations of food, clothing and shoes doesn’t always mean it is a good organization – after all, even Al Capone also did that. How can you know which organizations are good? The answer is not easy to find, but if you have been one that has been in need and have been turned away without help, then you know ones that are not. The good organizations have been around for awhile. If you have questions about where to go to become one of these wonderful giving volunteers, then visit The Time is Now or one of the local churches.


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