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Volunteering: An Ethic of Service (Courage, Compassion & Connection)

  • Broadcast in Culture
Elevate The Soul

Elevate The Soul


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As Alexis de Tocqueville observed more than 170 years ago, a defining characteristic of the American people is their commitment to service. Today, the ethic remains strong, as across our nation Americans of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities are donating their time and talents to schools, churches, hospitals, and local nonprofits in an effort to improve their communities and serve a purpose greater than themselves. They are beautifying schools and neighborhoods, building homes, cleaning up after disasters, mentoring students, donating professional services, coaching youth sports teams, holding benefit fundraisers, and much, much more. These actions are critically important because volunteering today is a necessary aspect of meeting many of the needs facing our nation. The desire to serve extends across generations and in every part of our country. Since the Corporation’s inception: o More than 1 billion volunteer service hours have been generated by Senior Corps volunteers; o More than 400,000 individuals have served through AmeriCorps o And, more than 1 million high school students participate annually in service-learning initiatives funded by Learn and Serve America Our Guest: Derek Douglas is a long term volunteer in his community of Jellico, TN. Beginning as a fellow sponsored by Highlander Center, Douglas has served with a number of groups in the Appalachian region focusing on land use, conservation and social justice. He is currently an Office of Surface Mining VISTA with the Appalachian Coal Country Watershed Team. He has been working to help recognize more diversity in the watershed protection field and in his home town of Jellico. Whether it is meeting at Indian Mt. State Part to help plan a memorial service to lost classmates, serving at the Left Fork of Middle Creek watershed project, or facilitating educational and cultural programs on Martin Luther King Day; I have been impressed with Mr. Derek Douglas since we first met last yea