Most of the people I know are volunteers in some capacity or other, whether it's going above and beyond at work, helping with kids' sports teams and scouts, building community by reaching out to neighbors and church members and lending a hand now and then. Volunteerism is the backbone of the United States -- it's the attitude of reaching farther, trying harder, giving just a little more. It's not settling for what falls in our laps, but reaching for better relationships, better communities, a better world. I love that about us!
As my disabilities continue to limit me physically, my over-active scheming mind gets busier, and I'll be relying on volunteers to perform the actual labor I dream up for them. Today, for example, my husband is kindly heading out to pick up the copies I ordered online -- a letter to retailers about both sides of our organization. I assume the kids will help me stuff envelopes and package up samples.
I hope I can find willing legs outside the family for the legwork of delivering samples and information packets to the merchants in this area. We hope to get a dozen stores carrying our products by the time farmers' markets start up again in March. Wouldn't it be awesome if we got 50 retailers?! We could eliminate sitting in booths all day, and focus on getting food to those who need it.
Once retailers are on board, I'll need a large group of on-call volunteers. When a store has food to donate, I'll dispatch someone who lives nearby to pick it up. I'll contact the nearest recipient organizations so we can have it delivered immediately to the one that can best use it.
We will be getting food that organizations aren't able to accept -- especially ready-to-eat items like sandwiches and salads. We'll be taking these to the homeless camps at random. Their appreciation is so deep and warm, it lifts my heart to be among them.
Lastly, we'll be collecting toiletries, sock, and blankets to hand out to folks in need. Have an old sleeping bag with a broken zipper? Time to clean out the front coat closet? How big is your unmatched-sock pile? How many hotel shampoo bottles and mini bars of soap are cluttering up your bathroom drawers? Once you start thinking about reducing clutter, you'll be amazed how much useful stuff you have that you just don't want anymore.
Please think of us when you're clearing the decks for the new year, and when you're looking for a little something useful to give yourself to, and when you feel like an occasional phone call and quick errand in the car would be a pleasant diversion.
Many hands make light work, as they say. But it's more than that -- many hands working together create purpose and vision and community. Many hands, each doing a little, can change the world.