Friday, February 13, 2009

Helping Hand

"We can't help everyone, but everyone can help someone." -Dr. Loretta Scott

Ben Rigby shared some thoughts about "Information Age Volunteerism" in a recent post, suggesting that more people don't offer their time and services because "today's volunteer opportunities aren't suited to our lifestyles."

It occurred to me that online social networks, particularly Plurk and Twitter, offer numerous opportunities for helping others that easily fit into a busy schedule.

Over the past year, requests for everything from website addresses to conference information to proof reading have shown up in my timelines. Chances are, if you lost a link or need help troubleshooting hardware or software problems, someone will respond and offer assistance.

Sometimes there are more serious issues to deal with. I've recently seen appeals on Twitter calling for donations to assist victims of the horrific bush fires devastating southern regions of Australia. Frequently, virtual friends who are experiencing illness or loss, ask for and receive comfort and prayers from their online networks.

Our busy lives don't always permit volunteerism on a grand scale. But microblogging provides the opportunity for doing what we can in the time available to us.

Many people become volunteers upon retiring, but there's no need to wait. Micro-volunteering can be a quick and rewarding way to add some sharing to your life.

Kevin Honeycutt (shared via Plurk): “You must give some time to your fellow men. Even if it's a little thing, do something for others – something for which you get no pay but the privilege of doing it.” –Albert Schweitzer

"helping hand" by Paul J Everett


A Keeper's Jackpot said...

I just started to follow a blog of a friend of mine dedicated to her sick baby girl. Her daughter has been diagnosed with Infantile Spasms (a.k.a. West Syndrome) and she's trying to raise awareness online through her blog and Facebook on the condition. I was just thinking the other day how amazing it is now that you can turn to not just your local friends and family, but the entire world for help and support!

paul c said...

Perhaps that is why organizations like Kiva are so popular: donating to micro businesses from the convenience and efficiency of your computer where you also have choice.

diane said...


I agree that this side of globalization is a very positive one. The emotional support alone is of immeasurable value.


Have heard others speak of Kiva and very much like the concept. I'm very leery of large organizations, even "reliable" ones like the Red Cross. Some part of the donations always seem to be diverted or go astray.

Kiva sounds like more of a person to person operation.

Thanks for mentioning it.