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What Leaders are Learning

Leaders Volunteer

Leaders Volunteer

Leadership Spokane is committed to the truism that leaders always learn. This weekend, we had our sixth annual Leadership Lights the Way Gala which celebrates leadership in our region. As we stand back being appreciative of our outstanding alumni and guests for joining the festive celebration, I stand in absolute awe of our nearly 100 volunteers that made it happen. I am reminded of the quote by Albert Einstein “Not everything that counts can be counted. And not everything that can be counted, counts." While our volunteers can be counted, their contributions are priceless and beyond counting. From our volunteer team gathering silent auction items to the incredible amount of data entry to the fifty plus volunteers the night of the event, our volunteers truly made the event happen.
Why do people volunteer? It is estimated 62 million people volunteer over 8 billion hours a year. From firefighting to tutoring to building houses, volunteers are the backbone of American society in many ways for accomplishing good works. Mark Horoszowski in a March 2015 Forbes article on volunteering points out Professor Cassie Mogilner’s research that found those who volunteer their time feel like they have more time. Horoszowski also points out a Corporation for National & Community Service report that explains: “Research demonstrates that volunteering leads to better health… those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer.” Volunteering also improves a person’s work skills whether developing new talents or strengthening existing skills.
The greatest benefit of volunteers is the passion they provide a program because of their volunteering of time is driven by their belief in the mission. This is exactly the case for our gala volunteers, many were alumni, who poured their time and treasure over the last six months making our celebration a reality so that others, adult and high school youth, can follow in their footsteps. Our leadership staff is an amazing staff and from that excellence, our volunteers have assisted us to triple our Gala celebration attendance. It has been a privilege to be part of the love for our program. As Tory Lanez reminds us “From passion, all is possible.”
Thankfully, volunteering is an American pastime that continues to grow, with more and more millennials believing in it. The old adage it is better to give than receive is backed up by scholarly research suggesting both volunteer material and psychological benefits. As an organization, we are incredibly fortunate to have the volunteers whose leadership lit the way for our gala. We couldn’t succeed without their support. Our community and nation relies on the good works of volunteers. We need leaders and we need volunteers. The best new is leaders volunteer!
One of the great ironies of life is this: He or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served.” ~ Gordon Hinckle