Volunteering: Sacrificing for Others

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So much hangs in the balance of one person’s decision to make a difference.  One of our volunteers just logged 348 helpline phone calls and 192 eligibility screenings. If each of those applications were eligible and applied for benefits, that would translate to 97,179 SNAP meals for our friends and neighbors. That was what was at stake in her decision to get involved.  

When you make a decision to get involved, it is important to consider what's at stake in your decision. When you volunteer, you donate your most valuable resource: time.  Volunteering, therefore, is one of the greatest sacrifices you can make.  When you volunteer, you put someone else’s interests above your own.  You are essentially saying that another person’s time is more valuable than your own.  That kind of sacrifice, especially in today’s headache of a busy society, is to be admired.  No matter what moral code you ascribe to, we can all agree that self-sacrifice is one of the highest virtues. 

It is not natural to put another’s interests above your own.  Anyone who has young children can attest to this.  Children love the word “mine” especially when talking about toys.  No one has to teach children to be possessive about toys; it is in their nature.  Conversely, self-sacrifice is cultivated.  Self-sacrifice must be practiced daily so that the narrative in your head becomes less about your schedule, your preferences, your vision, and more about others’ needs.  

But what do you get back when you sacrifice? A better community and a better world. That's priceless. By transforming your internal narrative, you maximize your ability to change the world. 

I am by no means exhorting you to neglect yourself.  You must maintain your own well-being in order to help others.  Rather, I am challenging you to become aware of your internal narrative.  Begin asking yourself what it sounds like.  How much do you think about yourself?  How can you think of yourself less?  How can you be more aware of the needs of the people around you?

Working with our clients, I often encounter self-sacrifice.  Our clients sacrifice their needs for their children’s.  They sacrifice their pride to ask for help.  Some have sacrificed their safety fighting for our country. 

Throughout our state, over 28,000 volunteers give their time, talent and treasure to local food pantries, meal programs, and food banks to ensure that our friends and neighbors have enough to eat. That's an amazing amount of commitment and sacrifice.

If you are interested in the call to self-sacrifice and have a passion for fighting hunger, we are looking for volunteers to help in the areas of administration, marketing, and communications.  We are also looking for volunteers to help out at our local food banks throughout the state.  Stop wondering what hangs in the balance of your decision to take action. This Hunger Action Month, take action! Fill out the form on our Get Involved page to get in contact with us about ways to fight hunger in your local community.

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