• Published
  • By Master Sgt. Nathan Davis
  • 509th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
What a great time of year to write about volunteerism! There are so many opportunities available to us to volunteer throughout the year. During the months of October through December my email box is inundated with offers to volunteer during the holidays.

These are examples of what I consider traditional opportunities to volunteer. Consider a few of the more popular volunteer request during this time of year.

Each year the First Sergeants group request volunteers to help with Operation Warmheart. They ask each squadron and other organizations to take on a few days. Chances are you've seen individuals standing in front of the BX or commissary ringing bells for donations. In fact, you've probably been given the opportunity to assist with this special event. Operation Warmheart benefits WAFB families in need by providing money to purchase needed groceries but it doesn't stop there. With the money the organization receives, the First Sergeants group provides funds to help Airmen and families in need throughout the year. These are often diverse individual financial needs.

Unfortunately, programs like these don't run on good will alone. They require conceptualizing, organizing, and volunteerism. This is where you, the volunteer, come in. Your help is very needed and appreciated when it's received. You're not needed only during the holiday season but 365 days a year. You say you don't have the time? Most of us have difficulty finding spare time to volunteer but there are ways to deal with that.

Much of the time, it's possible to find volunteer opportunities within the activities we already enjoy. If you're into sports and so is your child, coaching your child's team is a wonderful volunteer opportunity.

A good friend of mine does this and he really enjoys the impact he makes. Another person I know and respect volunteers at the thrift store where his wife is also a volunteer. He uses his natural talents to assist with various self-help projects that are needed and appreciated by the patrons of the thrift store.

Another example of volunteerism that comes to mind is a captain I know who loves archery. He spends countless hours maintaining the base archery range for others to enjoy. Lastly my wife and I are Cub Scout Den leaders. We chose this particular avenue because it allows us to do something positive in the community and spend time with our son at the same time.

The point is this: Volunteering has a significant impact on peoples' lives. When we volunteer, whatever the reason, the rewards can be endless. So don't hit the delete button the next time someone is asking for volunteers for a worthy cause. Instead, consider the potential impact you can provide to your community.

Look for chances to volunteer that fit you and your lifestyle. Don't be a bench-warmer and you'll find them. Consider what our community would be like without our volunteer team.