That made me remember Friday, when I spent about three-and-a-half hours inspecting boxes for Operation Christmas Child. (http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/OCC/) For those of you who have never heard of it before, Operation Christmas Child is a wonderful ministry that delivers the gospel to children in hurting countries in a tangible way: shoe boxes filled with small toys and necessities. Not every shoe box is perfect; some have "inappropriate items" or are not full enough. That's why I was inspecting them. It's tiring work. After just a few hours I was ready to go home and take a nap. But the invisible pay check for this volunteer work is huge.
Wikipedia lists the benefits of volunteering as:
1) economic benefits (for the country or company, not the volunteers)
2) social benefits
3) individual career benefits
But I got a whole lot more out of working at the OCC processing plant: rather than economic benefits to the company, all the things in the small box go to increase the joy and welfare of a poor child. Rather than "help[ing] to build more cohesive communities", I got to help make an eternal impact advancing the gospel of the Lord.
Can you think of any better benefits?