Volunteers of America

I often brainstorm topics to write about for this blog. I keep a list of over 250 ideas to which I am always adding. But sometimes I miss the obvious. Have you heard of Volunteers of America? Neither had I, until today.

It’s a Christian organization that’s been around since 1896. It provides help for homelessness, people with mental health problems, children, communities, veterans, those with disabilities or substance abuse problems and seniors. It also provides emergency services for people in crisis.
As its name implies, it provides its ministry just in America. It provides services to more than two million people in over 400 communities in 46 states and the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. You can search for a local office near you at its website.
I love its statement of Why We Do What We Do:
 
We are Volunteers of America.
And we are the first to step forward,
Taking on the most crushing problems.
The dire.
The hopeless.
The untouchable.
And we make a difference.
Because we not only perceive the burdens of others,
We know firsthand what it means to make them lighter.
This is why we do what we do.

Our story is long and rich.
And widely unknown.
But we’re not chasing fame. Or glory.
Our lives are meant for service.
For lifting up the broken-hearted.
For finding the lost.
For reaching out with mercy and compassion
To those who thought they were beyond reach.
For uplifting all our lives.
This is why we do what we do.

Every day, we see our brothers and sisters
lying beaten and bruised on their own roads to Jericho.
We act because we’re trained.
We’re impassioned.
We’re honored.
This is why we do what we do.

Like our Great Exemplar,
We go among the unclean,
the broken,
the forgotten
and the outcast.
and we use our lives
to make theirs better.
This is why we do what we do.

We are Volunteers of America
 
Isn’t this what we are called to do as Christians? To be like Jesus? He used his life to make others better. He helped without asking for any return. He gave his life for us.
 
Now I know people say different things about Christians helping others, that the acts are important but not necessary. You don’t do acts of service to become a Christian, you do them out of love because you are a Christian. Maybe that’s a topic for another blog. For today, think about what you do out of love for others.

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