‘Compassion boom’ hits our country Print
Written by Mary C. Uhler, editor   
Thursday, Apr. 22, 2010 -- 12:00 AM

In past years during tough economic times, there was a decrease in the number of people serving as volunteers in our country.

Fortunately, that has not been happening during our current economic crisis, reported a recent poll taken for PARADE magazine. Instead, this poll shows that there’s a “compassion boom” with more and more people helping others.

editor's view by Mary C. Uhler

More volunteers

An increasing number of people are donating their time, talents, and treasure as volunteers. People say that it is important to be personally involved in supporting a cause they believe in — both in their own communities (94 percent) and in the world at large (91 percent).

More than three-fourths of those responding in the poll said they think that the actions of one person can improve the world and they believe they are making a difference themselves.

This is such encouraging news as we celebrate National Volunteer Week, April 18 to 24. The theme is “Celebrating People in Action.” The week is set aside to thank individuals who take action and solve significant problems in their communities and inspire others to do the same.

Inspired by Christ

As Catholics, we should see service to others as part of our mission as followers of Christ, inspired by His own example.  As Pope Benedict XVI says in his encyclical Caritas in veritate, “Love — caritas — is an extraordinary force which leads people to opt for courageous and generous engagement in the field of justice and peace. It is a force that has its origin in God . . . .”

National Volunteer Week is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on how we are showing love for others in our families, neighborhoods, communities, parishes, schools, and offices. Are we doing enough? Could we put our energies to better use?

This week is also a time to thank all those who provide volunteer service with a phone call or a note. Also consider praying for these volunteers who bring the light of Christ and compassion to others.