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Charter Watch Talent and Dedication
An extremely personal contribution

In the Charter of Volunteerism, there are some pretty lofty words and phrases, especially under the heading A Volunteer CONTRIBUTES. In our continuing series, Volunteer MBC takes a genuinely close look at the wording, what it means, and how it applies, as part of a message to our communities and to ourselves.

It can be easily argued that the vast majority of people in this world have talent, some blessed with talent that exhibits unique abilities that set an individual apart and in the work place afford a competitive edge. And it can be quite glamorous, especially in the world of entertainment. This often leads to the misconception that talent not openly displayed is an indicator of limited or no talent at all.

Volunteers tend to be modest about what they offer to community service organizations, in fact often underselling themselves (the Charter proclaims the opposite - get out there and make a difference!). Yet, our reservoirs of talent and abilities are there for the asking. It remains for community service providers to bring volunteers out of the shadows, tap, and recognize their talents. When this is done, marvelous things happen. Volunteering is leadership by example, and leadership builds and preserves communities.

Why? Because such a visionary process provides purpose, and purpose involves goals. Add proper, meaningful engagement, and voilà, the community has a dedicated volunteer, an individual who is determined to freely contribute and achieve the goals that have been set. A clear bonus from this that it doesn’t stop at one set of goals; rather, a volunteer who is valued for the use of valuable talent is primed to embrace more goals, further challenges.

Individually, and cumulatively, volunteering is a superlative - “The highest and most meaningful expression of service to humanity”. We all start with ourselves, but the decision to make selfless contribution is both an extremely personal transformation and process. And a very satisfying one, as millions have discovered. Ironic this is, because by helping others, you enhance your self, your health, your well being.

The late Kallam Anji Reddy sums up talent and volunteering beautifully, “Everyone has a purpose in life and a unique talent to give to others. And when we blend this unique talent with service to others, we experience the ecstasy and exultation of own spirit, which is the ultimate goal of all goals.”

Robert MacFarlane
Robert MacFarlane is Volunteer MBC's Referral Services Consultant