Sometimes, as a volunteer engagement leader (or, generally, a nonprofit professional) we need to get back to the basics of inspiration. Why do we do this work? Why is it important? Here are some quotes to keep you going on the days when your budget won’t support the volunteer recognition event you’ve envisioned, when your colleague claims that “volunteers are free,” or when your favorite volunteer moves to another state.
The quotes below are all by people of color.
“Imagine what a harmonious world it could be if every single person, both young and old shared a little of what he is good at doing.” Quincy Jones
“Service is the rent we pay for being. It is the very purpose of life, and not something you do in your spare time.” Marian Wright Edelman
“When I dare to be powerful – to use my strength in the service of my vision – then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid." Audre Lord
“If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is tied up with mine, then let us work together.” Lilla Watson
“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t need to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
“If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.” Booker T. Washington
“If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.” Maya Angelou
“The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.” Barack Obama
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Mahatma Gandhi “When you are kind to someone in trouble, you hope they'll remember and be kind to someone else. And it'll become like a wildfire.” Whoopi Goldberg
“If our hopes of building a better and safer world are to become more than wishful thinking, we will need the engagement of volunteers more than ever.” Kofi Annan “The point is not to pay back kindness, but to pass it on.” Julia Alvarez