Look on the calendar for volunteer corps events or meetings. It’s a great way to spend a few hours helping someone else, getting to know like minded people, and feeling pretty darn good about yourself!
Other volunteer opportunities...
Altruism is behavior which tangibly benefits others, without tangible benefit, and usually a cost, to the altruist. There are several scientific theories that attempt to account for altruism. Biological explanations focus on people helping those who are genetically related. Sociological explanations focus on people helping those who helped them. Cultural explanations focus on how doing for others raises one’s status in a group. However, there are many examples of altruism which kinship, reciprocity, and status cannot explain: risking or sacrificing one’s life to protect a stranger; donating blood or money to help people you don’t know, won’t ever meet, and won’t know you gave; removing trash from a neighbor’s yard without their knowing it was even done.
More recent research tries to account for such behaviors by studying the values & beliefs that people hold which guide their behavior toward others (animals as well as people). The activities that the Secular Hub volunteers engage in which benefit the general community are influenced by the idea (held by freethinkers, humanists, secularists, atheists, etc.) that we human beings are in this life together, and helping other people, animals, and the environment, are ways to contribute to all forms of life that share this planet.
But altruism isn’t just something done by a formal group of volunteers. Every day we have a chance to do something helpful for others—without being asked and without receiving a reward. Even simple things we do as individuals can provide benefits. Examples include opening a door, picking up a dropped item, mowing lawns or shoveling snow for a neighbor, visiting sick children at a hospital, visiting the elderly at a nursing home, doing something for the homebound, volunteering to be a designated driver, etc.
So, set your humanist alarm clock to remind you to do something altruistic each day. Once you make up your mind, opportunities appear more often.
The aim of Arbor Day is to raise awareness of trees and to help to provide an educative service to all areas of our community. The Secular Hub plants trees on Arbor Day because:
1). trees provide important products from lumber and paper to chewing gum and soap.
2). the shade that trees provide can decrease air conditioning costs by 20% annually.
3). during the cold winter months, evergreen tree breaks block the strong northerly winds saving around 2% annually in heating bills.
4). trees help clean the air and by capturing and removing pollutants.
5). trees provide food and habitat for wildlife.
6). trees lining our rivers, lakes and streams help prevent soil erosion and provide shade for wildlife and fish.
Continuing the momentum from Arbor Day, the Hub has adopted a stretch of Downing Street as part of the Adopt-A-Spot program. Bi-monthly, we’ll put out a call for volunteers to help clean up. Our environment, after all, can infiltrate our self-perceptions. And we want it to have a positive influence in our community. While we’ll put out calls before each event, we would also like to recruit a core team that we can count on to help regularly with the effort. If that sounds like you, Contact Us to let us know. Thanks for your support!
The Community Service team hosts a Pancake Breakfasts the first month of each quarter on a Sunday to support worthy causes. It might be to help a Hub member in need, or raise money a secular cause. If you’re interested in giving back, this will be an excellent time to stop in for a visit. We’ll speak to some great opportunities to make a difference and would love to hear your thoughts, as well.