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Why volunteering is so important

When is the last time you did something without expecting to get something back in return?  A day, week, month, year or too long to recall.
Let's look at it another way.  Have you ever been the beneficiary of someone volunteering?  Perhaps it was back in little league.  Maybe soccer or something as simple as a car ride home.
I'm willing to bet that you received something for nothing in your past.  So, how about paying it forward?  Just pick something of interest to you and volunteer.  
Your effort in volunteering may be just the thing which someone needs to help them later in life.
For me, today I will be one of the people running a city wide chess tournament for elementary aged children.  No, my kids have already completed their elementary requirements so I have nothing to gain.  For me, I'm doing it for the city's kids and to honor a man who ran city wide chess events every couple of weeks for many, many years during the time I was growing up.
We've gotten out the word for our local event and already have 40 kids pre registered to play.  I'm expecting at least that many in day of registrations so it should be a wonderful experience for the kids.
The man I'm honoring by volunteering (Mr. Mendoza) ran the area en passant chess tournaments long past the time when I left playing regularly.  Thanks to him, I had an environment where I learned much more about playing chess.  I learned how to plan ahead for life and how to give back.
Who knows,  maybe one of the kids today will learn that volunteering works and will pay it forward for someone else in the future.  Here's hoping.

Richard J. Garcia | 11/06/2010