Sunday, December 6, 2009


Yesterday, while Christmas shopping, I saw a poster broadcasting what one store supported in its charity efforts. One surprising item on the poster was "volunteerism". Now, seeing such a vague "-ism" is rare as they are usually quite succinct: abolitionism, Judaism, McCarthyism. Which, of course made me wonder, what exactly is volunteerism? Like any self-respecting modern citizen, I googled it. From what I discerned, volunteerism must be a movement of people towards volunteering.

That made me remember Friday, when I spent about three-and-a-half hours inspecting boxes for Operation Christmas Child. ( 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?


  1. Wonderful post. Good things to think about!

  2. That was not me, don't worry!