By: Rebecca Hornick
To all the volunteers who support GDB and beyond, Happy National Volunteer Week!
This is a very special week to share GDB’s appreciation to our many volunteers. As the San Rafael Campus Foster Care Coordinator, I have had the privilege of working with dozens of volunteers who support the needs of our foster dogs each year. As I reflect on the significance of this week of appreciation, I wondered, how can we show the immense gratitude we feel to recognize the contribution of our dedicated volunteers? I know we all love CHOCOLATE, but beyond putting out a bowl of sweets, how can this message be given in a way which it is truly felt by each volunteer?
Then I realized that for many volunteers, the act of giving itself provides them a sense of intrinsic value that comes from deep within and continues to fuel their drive and compassion. It seems to me, by reaching this state of personal reward through the gift of giving, is the very essence of human evolution through kindness. By giving of themselves, each volunteer is doing his/her part to make the world a better place for us all. Who wouldn't be moved by witnessing or participating in these selfless acts? These are not JUST volunteers, but modern day heroes with invisible superhero capes!
Many quotes have been collected over time that speak to the essence of volunteerism and this one addresses that sense of the profound human evolution I see every day through the hard work of our volunteers: “Every action in our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity.” ~Edwin Hubbel Chapin. And another, “What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.” ~Albert Pike (Thanks, Carl) and lastly, “We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.” ~Franklin Delano Roosevelt. How true! What our volunteers do today will continue to plant the seeds for success in the future. So there it is; VOLUNTEERISM IS EVOLUTION IN ACTION.
Another quote I found seems to resonate particularly well for those connected to our mission here at GDB: “Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” ~Variation of a saying that has been around since at least 1861, author unknown. And another which has significance here, “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.” ~Edward Everett Hale.
How fortunate we are to work among such kind and giving soul’s on both of our campuses, as well as the volunteer puppy raisers in so many states! Wherever they reside, our volunteers touch lives, strengthen communities, and build connections that reach even farther. “Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.” ~Author Unknown. Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
I would love it if every volunteer, both on campus and beyond, feels the deep and sincere appreciation GDB feels for their contribution. Every effort they offer changes our world for the better, each and every day and GDB thanks you all for the precious gift you give. Volunteers humbly show us every day that we should, “Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” ~William James.