Thursday, 27 March 2014 00:00
It’s easy to forget suffering in spring. When the winds blow warm and gentle, the world feels like a tender, forgiving place.
There is always an abundance of volunteers at holiday time. Starting at Thanksgiving, chill air and frost on the ground provide stark contrast to the warmth of hearth and home embodied in our year-end celebrations. Through Christmas (the giving holiday) and all the cold winter months, everyone wants to help feed the hungry (often as a kind of object lesson for children) and comfort the lonely.
Yet that glut falls off once the season has passed—even though hunger and loneliness don’t melt away when the snow does. Many worthy charities (especially in recent times of declining government support) could not do what they do without volunteers.
The range of opportunities is enormous. You can grow food for the hungry, teach business skills to bootstrappers, shepherd patients and their families through the hospital or even act in skits to raise awareness of mental illness. You can clean up a pond or take photos of a nature preserve. For more ideas and immediate needs, check out the listings at www.longislandvolunteercenter.org
Whatever your talent or experience is, someone can put it to good use. Don’t forget to step up for your community, and remember giving back during the “good” seasons as well as rough ones.