I am grateful to those who serve.

#ProjectZen #Day10 #GratitudeProject 

Day 10 of my gratitude project is hard for me to write because it is about those who serve. I don’t want to leave anyone unmentioned, but it is simply not possible for me to specifically include everyone. I’ll do my best to provide examples. I hope this small effort will be taken in the spirit it is written, one of great thanks. I have personally benefited from those who serve, and from the aid of volunteers, in my life. I am grateful. Paid professionals and volunteers, those who serve affect our daily lives. The enormity of the impact of service in our country is astounding, and yet, most of us go about our day without thinking about it too much. Most of us will cross paths with someone who serves, without realizing it.  I am a veteran, and my husband is a combat veteran, so the first thing that came to mind are active duty military service members and veterans. Those who serve that we may remain safe and free, due to their sacrifice and vigilance. Law enforcement officers across the nation that stand between us and those who would hurt us, kill us, and steal from us. Firefighters that brave flames and pull us from crushed vehicles, to save us, so we may live another day. Did you know that close to 70% of firefighters in our country are volunteer? EMS personnel that come to us, put us back together, and rush us to trauma/medical care. Volunteers that bring hot meals every day for older folks needing a helping hand. Volunteers that help our children. Volunteers that man crisis hotlines and offer us support and hope, and direct us to practical help. Animal rescue workers that stand up against animal abuse, transport pets across great distances to forever homes, and foster at-risk pets needing a safe place to be nurtured. Search and rescue volunteers who look for us when we’re lost. Hospital and hospice volunteers that greet visitors and sit with patients, loving us when we are anxious and hurting. Folks who help build homes on their own time for those of us that have never had a place of our own. Refugee volunteers that reach out and help people fleeing chaos and destruction, offering them succor and hope. Church, community, and food pantry workers getting up and packing boxes and bags of food for those who need help feeding their families. Poll volunteers who help us cast our votes for elections. These are but a few examples of those who serve. Those who protect us, help us, care about us, offer us help, give us food, build us up, and simply make our lives better. To all of you, I thank you, I am grateful for you. 

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From: http://www.idealist.org/info/Volunteer/Why

Volunteers have an enormous impact on the health and well-being of communities worldwide. Think of all the ways that volunteers make a difference in day-to-day life:

  • Volunteers deliver critical services—from serving as volunteer fire fighters or participating in search and rescue, to delivering meals to homebound seniors or homeless youth, to manning the phone lines at domestic violence and sexual assault centers.

  • Volunteers help to keep our neighborhoods, streets, parks, rivers, green spaces, and water clean and safe for everyone.

  • Volunteers tutor, teach, mentor, coach, and support young people with everything from math homework to dealing with personal crises to football and soccer tourneys.

  • Volunteers walk dogs, pet cats, clean cages, help with adoptions and feedings, and contribute veterinary expertise to organizations like animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centers.

  • Volunteers educate the public on health and safety; doctors and nurses donate time and medical knowledge to free clinics and natural/civil disaster areas worldwide.

  • Volunteers take tickets at film centers and performing arts events, lead tours at museums and historical societies, and ensure that arts and cultural festivals—from small-scale gatherings to massive multi-stage concerts—run smoothly.

  • Volunteers build houses and schools, dig wells, and repair infrastructure around the globe.

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