Volunteering has deep roots in American culture. From colonists’ humble beginnings, banding together to help plant crops and build houses, to the first volunteer firehouse developed by Ben Franklin, our nation was founded upon people coming together to work toward a common good. The 20th century brought volunteering into the mainstream, with the creation of nonprofits and volunteer organizations whose mission was to directly help and improve the lives of others.
As the evolution of volunteering continued in this country, the message was also shared with students during their school experiences. John Dewey, considered the father of progressive education in America, wrote in his book, The School and the Community, “When the school introduces and trains each child of society into membership within such a little community, saturating him with the spirit of service, and providing him with instruments of effective self-direction, we shall have the deepest and best guarantee of a larger society which is worthy, lovely and harmonious.”
It’s been a few months since Heal the Planet Day and I can definitely say that the volunteers who joined us for the event helped to create a worthy, lovely and harmonious environment. As an agency focused on the education of the next generation to inspire individual conscious choice for the benefit of all, it was our honor to have so many people living this message at the event. From student volunteers to moms and dads working side by side with their children, all helped contribute to the genuine spirit of service and commitment to raising consciousness on the planet.
As our programming at Heal the Planet evolves, we will continue to look for worthwhile events, which offer volunteer opportunities, as well as groups and initiatives whose mission is aligned with our own. Our shared commitment inspires us to plan and cultivate valuable experiences, which will enhance our community and all our lives.