"The only gift is a portion of thyself." In this incredibly short sentence, Ralph Waldo Emerson captured the true essence of what volunteerism is all about. In an interview with my hometown newspaper, Cadet Nicholas S. Vazzana, 1993 Civil Air Patrol Cadet of the Year, was asked what is the greatest, most significant thing CAP has taught him? His reply centered on the importance of volunteerism.
"I would probably say the value of volunteerism is most important, at least in this country. It's amazing the kind of effort that a few people you could think would do anything --- putting their efforts and resources together --- can accomplish," Vazzana said.
Volunteerism is that wonderful state of mind that urges each of us to step outside our daily lives. It propels us to act when we perceive a need. Volunteerism somehow reminds us that even though our actions may not always be selfless, there is a great reward in accomplishing a worthwhile task.
The American Red Cross has established "10 Principles of Volunteerism."
---Chaplain Colonel David R. Van Horn, Chief of Chaplains, Civil Air Patrol, Auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force
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