The Value of Volunteering

Through volunteerism, we often find our purpose and create meaningful changes, not only for those who volunteer but also for the programs and services enhanced by the selfless service of volunteers. Last year the Points of Light Foundation reported that 20 million people were engaged in volunteer work throughout the United States. The value of their five million hours of volunteer service has an estimated dollar value of $482 million. As the Army Volunteer Program Manager, Lynn Harshman, Fort Gordon and the rest of the nation prepare to celebrate the service of those who volunteer, some of those who volunteer on Fort Gordon were asked, “What inspires you to serve?” Here are their replies:


“I’ve been serving in some capacity or another for my whole adult life or at least the last 50 years. Just because I retired from a paying job didn’t mean I was going to stop. Serving as a Red Cross volunteer at DDEAMC allows me to continue. It also keeps me physically and mentally active as well as giving me the opportunity to see old friends and coworkers when they visit the hospital.”

– Jay Waldman, 2018 Volunteer of the Year


“I do it for the person standing to my left and to my right. I do it to lighten the load, so that someone else doesn’t have to carry the whole weight on their shoulders. The added bonus is the amazing friendships and connections which are made along the way.”

– Brenda Kuntz

“Volunteering can help you gain confidence, respect, and give you a sense of achievement. For me, it was something to complete my day after ‘retiring’ with 35 years of Civil Service. I heard it said that the more you do for others, the better off you are. Believe me, it’s true because without kindness there is no joy!”

– E. Jeanne Stewart

“God has blessed me with so much, I am compelled to give back. Giving back brings me joy and hopefully joy to those around me.”

– Cathy Ruder


“When I first began to serve by being a volunteer, my inspiration was to help others. What I have found through several decades of serving is that I gain so much more by the giving of my time and talent serving others. I am constantly learning from those I serve with and those I try to help. By learning from each other, no matter who we are or where our journey in life has taken us, we find that our purpose is to be co-creators of meaningful change.”

– Amy Lennox

“I volunteer because it gives me a sense of purpose and strengthens my community. I enjoy seeing the benefits that recipients receive. I also enjoy the social aspect of volunteering. You have the opportunity to meet people from many backgrounds and many places. You share knowledge and experiences and often times I, the volunteer, will walk away inspired by those I’ve helped.”

– Paula Reese

“I have been very fortunate in my lifetime to have benefitted from the volunteering of others. All the special events, programs, opportunities, etc. that I was exposed to as a child (while in and out of hospitals) wouldn’t have been possible without volunteers. At the time I took it for granted but as an adult I realized the selflessness of these people and organizations. When the opportunity presented itself for me to help, I jumped right in. I had the time and just wanted to give back in any way that I could. When you volunteer you may never realize who you impact by just giving a small amount of yourself.”

– Christine Klosson, 2017 Volunteer of the Year

“I am inspired by people around me. The ability to make fast friends and to become family is a skill we know well. It challenges us to become community builders everywhere we land. We plant ourselves and grow and, when we leave, we have added more friends and family to our stories and hope to leave each place a little enriched by our presence. Volunteering, in an aspect, is giving of yourself to others. The spirit of volunteerism abounds in those who serve because they see a need and stand up and take action. These are the people I see all around me. They are community builders and they inspire me to step up and be counted.”

– Rachel Batson

“I believe it is significant for me to make a difference in other people’s lives in all aspects whether learning or growing together. There’s nothing like paying it forward and, at the same time, it’s a great learning curve.”

– Marjorie Cooper

“It started as a way to get out of the house and not be isolated. I just like volunteering and knowing that people do appreciate my help.”

– Anonymous

Fort Gordon will recognize all volunteers and their selfless service on May 16, 2019 at 1pm at Gordon’s Conference & Catering. Units, agencies and private organizations across the installation will nominate one volunteer and all nominees will be recognized. The ceremony will conclude with an Ice Cream Social and Spirit Table displays. Please join us afterward for Morale Call at 4pm with trivia, free appetizers and a cash bar. For additional information, please contact Army Community Service at 706-791-3579/3880.


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