01 May 2012 | MP3 at voaspecialenglish.com
Volunteers Find New Ways to Put Their Helping Hands to Work
Actor and activist Sean Penn helps earthquake victims in Haiti in 2010
FAITH LAPIDUS: I’m Faith Lapidus. BOB DOUGHTY: And I’m Bob Doughty with EXPLORATIONS in VOA Special English. Today we tell about interesting and sometimes unusual work provided by volunteers across the world. (MUSIC) FAITH LAPIDUS: There is an old saying about volunteer work that goes like this: “No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.” Today, many people volunteer their time and energy to help others. There are a lot of ways to meet other people’s needs, and it seems there is a volunteer group for everything. Some provide education, while others offer adventure. Many do both. For example, some volunteers provide emergency help after a catastrophic event or disaster. Others are happy to get dirty while repairing homes or planting trees or flowers in poor neighborhoods. Young people see suffering and loneliness
around them and find ways to help. And history lovers help archeologists search for ancient objects to help deepen knowledge of the past. BOB DOUGHTY: Why do people offer their services to others at no cost? Mental health expert Jonathan Crook says many volunteers want to return goodness for goodness. The North Carolina man says people sometimes cannot repay a person who has helped them. That helpful individual may no longer be part of their lives. But Mr. Crook says they can always offer kindness to someone or something else. JONATHAN CROOK: “Somebody did something for me, at one point, and [I] cannot pay them back directly. But I can pay them back indirectly.” Mr. Crook says this happens often, especially to people with strong religious or spiritual beliefs. Or they may have suffered difficult experiences and are thankful for getting through them. JONATHAN CROOK: “They just feel like they have been really blessed in their life and they are living...