The following is the text of an address given by Rose Wakeham, CCHS Volunteer and, President of the BMTA, at the CCHS Volunteer Appreciation Dinner on April 13th.
My name is Rose, and I'm a volunteer.
Let's look at that for a minute; What is a volunteer?
The Webster Dictionary states: “a person who chooses freely to do or offer to do something without being forced and with no promise of compensation”.
I look around the room tonight and see many of you that I have met during my volunteer time. I have made many new contacts, advocates, and hopefully friends.
Volunteering began as a way of giving back to the community that has nurtured the growth of me and my children; through struggles and accomplishments.
I look back a few years ago; when the Bellevue Manor Community came together to construct the two parks in our area. All the people working were volunteers; but this one person stuck out; she was walking around holding a container of water and plastic cups. She could not lift a shovel, or carry heavy equipment, or even work machinery. But she was making every effort to give liquid to the men working under the hot sun. That was her effort towards volunteering.
I think about that every time I volunteer. Today, I volunteer about 118 hours per month. Some say “it's too much”, others say “you should get a paying job”. But what they don't realize is that I am giving my time freely to my community without being forced or expecting anything.
If you're thinking of volunteering: Great!
Even if it's only one hour per week, or one hour per month; the whole point is it's your time you're giving freely with no promise of compensation.
Although I do feel compensated especially when people say ‘Hi Rose,' ‘Thanks Rose, ‘Great Rose' and ‘Oh No! It's Rose!'
What's volunteering mean to you?
Thank you and have a good evening.