Any Volunteers? | God's World News

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Any Volunteers?
Citizen Ship
Posted: July 01, 2023
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    Bella McGowan, right, volunteers at a community garden. Rico De Rixey, center, and Geraldine Brand help. (AP/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
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    Bella McGowan started volunteering four years ago. (AP/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
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    Bella McGowan, left, shows a mushroom to Ivonne Arias. (AP/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
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    Volunteers unpack and sort food. They give food to those in need. (Christian Charisius/picture-alliance/dpa/AP)
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    Volunteers clear mud from a street in Faenza, Italy. Rains flooded the town. (Michele Nucci/LaPresse via AP)
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Bella McGowan is a grandma. She’s also a psychologist. And now she’s a volunteer too.

Ms. McGowan volunteers at a place for homeless people in Los Angeles, California. She helps run the community garden.

Late last year, she learned she had cancer. Did she still make time to help?

Yep, because volunteering helps her too. It can feel scary to find out you’re sick. But volunteering reminds Ms. McGowan that her life has meaning. People depend on her. The garden needs water and weeding. “Volunteering and being in gardens has just been an incredible part of my recovery,” she says.

That’s no surprise. Helping others can make us deeply happy. Jesus tells us, “It is more blessed to give than receive.” (Acts 20:35) But new data shows that fewer people volunteer in the United States than they used to. Volunteer participation fell seven percentage points between 2019 and 2021. In fact, volunteerism has been going down for decades.

The question is . . . why?

Ms. McGowan has some ideas about how potential volunteers might think. They may say, “Oh, I couldn’t possibly do that job,” or “That’s not for me,” or “I don’t want to work with those kinds of people.” But we all need help sometimes, and God made us to help others.

Do you volunteer? Why or why not? Ms. McGowan points out, “Any of us could be in any one of these situations that suddenly puts us on the street. Or natural disasters can level your house, or fire.” Volunteering may give you a chance to show God’s grace to someone in need. Jesus’ words are true. Giving will bless you even more than it blesses the people you help.

Why? Volunteering blesses volunteers as well as those they help, and God created us to serve others in times of need.