Volunteerism: Life Driven by Purpose

When I was a kid growing up in a southern rural farm town, the word “volunteer” was most synonymous with the word “chore”. That meant helping your fellow neighbor with picking corn, cutting acres of grass with a push mower…well, you get the picture.Volunteer opportunities were limited, but my parents explained that it was always our civic duty to help out our neighbor, no matter how far you had to travel nor how ever long it took you to finish. My parents never quite explained why helping out others was important and that it was “good for the soul”. I didn’t have that epiphany until college, when I became involved in building homes for Habitat for Humanity. The end result was profound! To see and hear a family’s word of “thanks” and seeing the fruits of our teamwork- that is where the true meaning of the word “volunteerism” finally kicked in for me.

IMG_3995To this day, those are four little words (Life Driven by Purpose) are so unselfish, so powerful in spreading one of God’s great commandments to support our fellow “neighbor”. It is an open door to not only glorify God, but to build fellowship and to connect, to give something of ourselves, to strengthen our community, to show our children that there is more to life than self-focus. In today’s society, we have the ever-increasing challenges of dual-working families and the pull of growing technology on our youth. We learn that family time is precious and very limited; often, volunteering takes a back seat or we hear “someone else can do it”. Our behavior, our actions SHOW the difference, the impact YOU can make in others’ lives…..whether it’s involvement in church, your community, a meaningful cause, or just taking the time to help out someone in need of care and support.

DonnaMAs a parent of an ICS student, there are loads of volunteer needs. By helping others, we reap the benefits of engaging not only with our own children, but sharing God’s grace with other children and other parents. We have the opportunity to link in with teachers and staff in creating a partnership, a family relationship with each of them. With volunteer needs unmet, our children would be unable to participate in educational activities (i.e. field trips, community service projects, plays) and we, as parents, would have limited visibility in seeing how God works through their impressionable eyes. Our children are a direct reflection of us, and more importantly, of God…. the time we spend giving back (volunteering) to help others, is following God’s purpose in and for our life.

Working as the Coordinator for the Fun Lunch Program this past year, I am constantly amazed with God’s blessing to provide parents to help serve the faculty/staff and students each Wednesday. When we are short on volunteers and must reach out for additional help, we are truly blessed by those parents (or grandparents) that can contribute their time for a few hours. As the year progresses and parents reach their volunteer hours, ICS finds itself in a critical need of volunteers the last few months of school. Please consider what actions you can take to help continue to support ICS. If you have one New Year’s goal for this year, would you not consider God’s greater purpose in and for your life….volunteering?“

Written by Donna Melendez, Fun Lunch Coordinator and parent of a 4th grader

Learn more about service opportunities at ICS.
Read our last blog post about Why We Serve at ICS!