Who Inspires You to Volunteer?

August 16, 2011 at 06:14pm

We’ve been thinking a lot about what inspires people to get involved, to volunteer, and to give back to their communities. After all, our inspiration is what helps us decide which causes are most important to us, and how we want to go about making a contribution.

Last week, we asked our fans on Facebook this question: If you could spend a day volunteering with one person (past or present) who would you want to volunteer with and why? We were so impressed with the responses that we felt we had to share them.

We learned that people find inspiration from all kinds of different sources. Historical figures, politicians, family members, friends, and great authors are just a few of the kinds of people that help motivate us to do good. Check them out below:

Kristin N: “Mother Teresa to get a glimpse of true compassion and selflessness, or Audrey Hepburn to see someone who balanced both personal/professional success with the art of giving back.”

Rmhc SD: “Princess Diana to see her efforts as well. She always showed amazing poise, compassion, and love to the people she helped.”

The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship: “Albert Schweitzer — he is our namesake, and his legacy of reverence for life motivates our 250 Schweitzer Fellows each year to dedicate themselves to serving vulnerable people and addressing unmet health needs.”

Larry S: “Pope John Paul II. He was a man that brought out the best, always.”

Tasha M: “I would volunteer with Jesus so He could show me how to impact the lives of others without judgement or criticism.”

Lisa C: “Gandhi. He was an amazing advocate against injustice, and for humanity, and just the common decent treatment of people.”

Diem P: “Greg Mortenson because I would love to learn about his experiences, motivation and lessons that he has since his trip to K2.”

Red Creek Wildlife Center: “Rachel Carson wrote “Silent Spring” and started the environmental movement. She bucked the big chemical industries and didn’t back down even though she was dogged by big business. The common citizen, however, listened to her and things had to change. DDT was later banned in the US, saving our raptors from near extinction. I love her, and I would love to learn from her about that great spirit where one person can change the world!”

Belén Q: “I would spend it with Martin Luther King, just being around him must have been inspiring enough to last a lifetime.”

Kim S: “Mother Theresa….no question.”

Amy M: “JoHanna Jones  at  The Girls’ Empowerment Center, because she has such a loving and caring heart. I learn more about compassion as a result of spending time with her. :)

Sue A.: “My sister  Cheryl Alonso  and the  Isaiah Alonso Foundation  because nothing is closer to my heart than helping families battling childhood cancer and no one inspires me more than my sister, her husband  Vinnie Alonso and of course my sweet ‘forever 6′ nephew, Isaiah.”

Grm S: “Jesus… So I could get the message straight from the person before it was distorted by politics, greed, and all other sorts of ulterior motives.”

Sara O: “Past: Gandhi. MLK Jr would be amazing too but I figure since he was inspired by Gandhi I would want to go to the source. Present: Bill Drayton (great strategist and humanitarian) or Khalida Brohi (a transcendant person).”

Jennifer C: “Amelia Earhart. She was one of my heroes in elementary school. Plus, I’d love to know what exactly happened on that last night with Fred Noonan (though ideally, we’d all survive in another version of the story). Also, I’ve read so much about her, I would love to see her in action and help her reach out to women interested in flight of any kind. The other person I might want to volunteer with is L.M. Montgomery, the author of one of my favorite book series, Anne of Green Gables. I don’t know much about Montgomery or the inspiration for the characters but I would love to ask her and help her out at a book signing or reading. Did they have book signings back then?”

Lis S: “Jimmy Carter

Kathleen C: “Mother Teresa because she loved the poor and saw Christ in them.”

Please feel free to share your response in the comments. We’d love to hear your answers too! To comment on the thread on Facebook, visit our page at Facebook.com/GreatNonprofits

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