Tag Archives: volunteering

Saying Thank You to Volunteers

A Malayan proverb says, “One can pay back the loan of gold, but one dies forever in debt to those who are kind.” I find this to be an especially fitting thought for today, which is the beginning of National Volunteer Week. National Volunteer Week is a week to recognize those hardworking souls who give their time and efforts to worthy causes.

All through high school, I watched my mom as she sat on various committees at the school I attended and volunteered for various activities at our grade school. She was so involved and, at certain points of the year, her free time was basically non-existent. You could read the exhaustion on her face, and every year, she would say, “I’m not doing this next year.” Of course, next year would roll around and she would volunteer again to chair the committee and I would say, “Why can’t you just say ‘No’?”

I suspect that my mom never answered that question because she didn’t quite know why she couldn’t say ‘No.’ However, I happen to think that she is just hard-wired to be a volunteer. She has the heart of a volunteer, and is attracted to volunteerism like a moth to a flame. Some people are like that. And this week, we recognize those people, who continually put others before themselves.  

I’m convinced that without volunteers, the world would stop spinning. Tangram is lucky to have a small, but dedicated group of volunteers. Some volunteer at our administrative office, some help with our special event, Summer Sizzle, some give their time as board members, and some have made valuable connections with our clients as friends, a role that gives richness to the lives of those we serve.

So, to all of those selfless individuals who proudly serve Tangram and our clients as volunteers, I would like to say, simply, Thank You. I hope you know how much you are appreciated.


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What goes around, comes around; or Lessons in good karma

“Life’s most urgent question is:  What are you doing for others?”

-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

It’s funny—most of us think that life’s most urgent questions are about what other people are doing for us. It’s all a perspective thing. If, in fact, this is life’s most urgent question, let’s all take a moment and at least pretend that we agree with Dr. King’s statement.

So, what are you doing for others? The answer could be on the level of volunteering regularly or spearheading an effort to save the world from pollution, disease, famine, war, hate, illiteracy, etc., or it could be more in league with random acts of kindness done on a daily basis. Whatever you come up with, I’m sure it will either be more or less than you estimated. When it comes to service, we are normally pretty bad at gauging our involvement. I typically find that I am surprised by all the small acts of kindness I tally up over a span of time, but that I fall short of my estimate of the larger-scale, big picture kind of acts.

Now that you have taken a moment out of your day to answer life’s most urgent question, I invite you to share how you rate. Do you do more or less for others than you estimated?

If you are looking for a way to increase your service points, ask us how you can use your talents to impact the lives of those we serve. We have plenty of volunteer opportunities and we are always open to suggestions.

Learn more about Tangram’s volunteer opportunities

To my Indianapolis readers: Enjoy the sunshine!

To everyone else: Happy Friday!


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