vol un teer [vol-uhn-teer]
While paging through Wikipedia the other day, I decided to look up a word that recently has become a big part of my vocabulary: Volunteering. And I learned that it is "generally considered an altruistic activity, intended to promote good or improve human quality of life."
Next, I looked up another often-used but relatively new word of mine: Donor. And I learned that it is "a person who donates something voluntarily, usually used to represent a form of pure altruism."
At this point, since it had appeared in both definitions I felt compelled to look up Altruism, a word I'd heard before but rarely used. Turns out that it's "a concern for the welfare of others."
It was then I realized that I was in the company of some pretty powerful words. These words seem even more significant to me because I'm new to the non-profit world, and until now hadn't had the opportunity to see how much these words can impact organizations like the March of Dimes. I know now that non-profits simply could not exist (or at least not very well), without the all-important presence of volunteers, donors, and their altruistic tendencies. So without a doubt, these are some really great words.
Where I've spent the last 25 years, however, my semantic comfort zone has included words more like "marketing plan," "cost-benefit analysis," and "profit margin." Also great words and ones I'm real familiar with, but after eight months of working for the March of Dimes I'll guarantee you there is no marketing plan that makes sense when it comes to the life of a child, no cost-benefit analysis to examine, and certainly no profit margin whatsoever. Babies born prematurely or with birth defects face a long, hard road, as do their families. Yet it's because of the many people who are committed to doing good, people who have "a concern for the welfare of others," that this very difficult road is continually being made a bit smoother.
So consider making such a difference. Volunteer. Donate. Flex those altruistic muscles and visit www.marchforbabies.org for more information on how you can help right here in the Marshall area. Our annual March for Babies walk will be on Saturday, May 5, at the Marshall Middle School with registration at 9 a.m. For information on more opportunities to help, please contact me at 507-388-6342 or firstname.lastname@example.org