Service is what life is all about. (Marian Wright Edelman)



(from Ann Landers)

Many will be shocked to find,
When the day of judgment nears,
That there's a special place in heaven
Set aside for volunteers.

Furnished with big recliners,
Satin couches and footstools,
Where there are no committee chairmen,
No yard sales or rest area coffee to serve,
No library duty or bulletin assembly,
There will be nothing to print and staple,
Not one thing to fold and mail,

Telephone lists will be outlawed.
But a finger snap will bring
cool drinks and gourmet dinners
And rare treats fit for a king.

You ask, "Who'll serve these privileged few
And work for all they're worth?"
Why, all those who reaped the benefits,
And not once volunteered on Earth.

So Long, Volunteers

(Erma Bombeck)

I had a dream the other night that every volunteer in this land had set sail for another country. I stood smiling on the pier, shouting, "Good-by, phone committees, Good-by, disease-of-the-month. No more getting out the vote. No more playground duty, bake sales and three-hour meetings."
As the boat got smaller, I reflected: "Serves them right, that bunch of yes people. All they had to do was to put their tongues firmly against the roof of their mouths and make an "o" sound--no. It would certainly have spared them a lot of grief. Oh, well, who needs them?'
The hospital was quiet as I passed it. The reception desk was vacant. Rooms were devoid of books, flowers and voices. The children's wing held no clowns, no laughter.
The home for the aged was like a tomb. The blind listened for a voice that never came. The infirm were imprisoned on wheelchairs that never moved. Food grew cold on trays that would never reach the hungry.
The social agencies had closed their doors--unable to implement their programs of scouting, recreation, and drug control; unable to help the retarded, crippled, lonely and abandoned. Health agencies had signs in their windows: "Cures for cancer, birth defects, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, etc., have been canceled because of lack of interest."
The schools were strangely quiet, with no field trips and no volunteer classroom aides. Symphony Halls and the museums that had been built and stocked by volunteers were dark and would remain that way.
The flowers on church altars withered and died. Children in day nurseries lifted their arms, but there was no one to hold them in love. Alcoholics cried out in despair, but not one answered. The poor had no recourse for health care or legal aid.
I fought in my sleep to regain a glimpse of the ship of volunteers just one more time. It was to be my last glimpse of a decent civilization.

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