This April’s volunteer focus complements ourCore Virtues themes for the month: humility, graciousness and courtesy, and even forgiveness. Pastor Rick Warren once described the virtue of humility as “not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less. Humility is thinking more of others.” That’s what voluntarism is all about. Most of us have an innate understanding that “no man is an island” and we are part of something larger than ourselves. We have a choice to be part of that and to serve others.
One of the most poignant volunteer initiatives underway, “Children of Vietnam,” dovetails with themes of forgiveness and humility. Through this organization many veterans of the Vietnam War (and others) have returned to Vietnam to assist their former enemy -- needy families in the Central Highlands who now benefit from their initiatives building kindergartens, giving food assistance, and providing medical help for kids. Some work with children suffering from the effects of chemical Agent Orange, which was dropped during the war to despoil the jungle. "I have the feeling that we need to restore some things," said Captain Larry Vetter, who served in the war. "The United States government refuses to do that, so I'm here to do my part." They stay for weeks or months and some for years. It is not just a path of service but one of healing for many, bringing closure to a time when the two peoples were enemies, and lending credence to the old adage that “in giving, we receive.”
So this month, we salute the millions of volunteers nationwide and worldwide who do more than just your part. Three cheers for the volunteers.
Mary Beth Klee
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