Christians Mark National Volunteers Week

( [email protected] ) Apr 22, 2004 07:55 AM EDT

Across the nation, various community organizations, including faith-based groups, are actively engaging in volunteer works more than ever as this week of April has been recognized as National Volunteer Week, a week proclaimed annually by the President of the United States to command the efforts of Americans who help to solve serious social problems through volunteering.

Christian volunteers and organizations are receiving much attention from the media this week and once again they are reminding the nation about the role of Christianity and its significance in relationship to the communities.

“I like being part of something bigger than myself,” said Sergeant Pena, a Girl Scout volunteer and 39th Air Base Wing assistant law office manager who was honored during this year’s National Volunteer Week. “When I see the girls smiling at a Girl Scout event or after a big accomplishment, I know I’ve done something good, and that makes me happy.”

“It’s a time to thank people who wouldn’t normally receive any recognition,” said Christina Politte, a 39th Mission Support Squadron family life specialist. “Without volunteers, a lot of our base functions wouldn’t exist, especially our youth and chapel services.”

Elbert and Nancy Nance from Lamar County in Texas are volunteering at together eight different places firmly holding onto their identity as a Christian. They believe that volunteering is what they were called to do.

Besides community organizations, Nancy Nance volunteers at Inter-Faith Co-Ministry as treasurer and with her husband, she volunteers at First Christian Church and Habitat for Humanity. Elbert Nance who is a retired engineer, continues to use his skills through Habitat and help building houses for people who don’t have a home.

“You’re touched when you see this person. Then you know you’ve done something worthwhile,” he said. “We are Christians. And as Christians, we are taught to be of service to the less fortunate and needy.”

Nancy Nance who also volunteers at a public school and various out community programs, expressed her joy of working as a volunteer: “It’s just a way of life. I receive a lot more from it than what I give.”

Frank Wastradowski, from Vancouver, Washington, is also a Christian who puts faith into action. While working as a cashier at a local Safeway market, Wastradowski volunteers at various community organizations. When asked how his wife and he himself were led to offer help, he responded in one word, ‘faith.’

"If we're going to say we're Christians, that's the Christian thing to do," he said, "I have a lot of empathy for down-and-outers.It seems like we punish our poor and helpless”

“Part of the solution is volunteering,” Wastradowski said, “Just about anyone can spare a couple of hours here and there, pitching in at the Share House hot meal program or raising money for the animal shelter”

"It makes the world go better," he said.

In Houston, Texas, a group of volunteers from Deloitte & Touch USA, a financial advisory service, will be hosting 2004 Deloitte Day of Caring on Friday, April 23, in observance of National Volunteer Week.

Deloitte volunteers will open up outreach to disadvantaged kids, the elderly, and the homeless by helping out many community organizations. Christian Community Service Center, CHRISTUS Health, Habitat for Humanity, Northwest Assistance Ministries, Salvation Army Family Center, William Booth Seniors Salvation Army and YMCA Camping Services are the Christian organizations that would be receiving help from Deloitte volunteers.

The Girl Scouts organization also honors Girl Scout leaders and other volunteers during National Volunteers Week each year. Girl Scout volunteers of all ages work with nearly three million girls and their families to promote the growth of girls with the foundation of Christian values.