Some of my regular readers know I am a Missouri State Basketball Official. It’s a job I really love to do and at times it helps to make ends meet too.
I had the opportunity to do some officiating this weekend, volunteer style with a Boys Scouts troop close to Kimmswick, MO. ( I am not talking about volunteer work that some tournament directors try to make you do when they won’t pay you when they are supposed to – where you have to threaten to go Jazmine Sullivan on them and Bust The Windows Out Your Gym) I mean real volunteer work where you know up front you won’t get a check.
Anyway, it was my first time in the Kimmswick area, and I remember it most from the Great Flood of 1993 when most of the town was under water. It’s a small and quite rual area in Jefferson County. I took my daughter with me and she watched as the troops most of whom don’t play the game on a regular basis run back and forth across the court trying to make a basket. Of course some kids showed more skill than others. And there was one who looked just like Lou Ferrigno of the Incredible Hulk television series of the 70s. I mean he was a good 6’4, built like he could enter and win a strong man’s contest, and could really shoot the rock. I laughed as he shot three’s, scored easy basket after basket, blocked shots and then finally dunked…. all without smiling one bit except for the jokes I kept shooting at him every time he made another troop mate look bad.
I never joined the boy scouts as a youth. But I did notice that even as I volunteered on the court, that most of the adults in the building were also volunteers who worked so closely with all of these kids over the years. The scorekeeper with his scout gear had to be at least 75 years old. The atmosphere was fantastic and it was a lot of fun. The unity and spirit of the event was a beautiful thing.
You just can’t put value on taking time out of your busy schedule to volunteer for something worth while. It’s a good and meaningful thing to give of your time and invest your knowledge into someones life. People never forget when they are invested in. And it’s good for your own soul as well to set aside time to give of your expertise without having to receive a monetary reward for it.
So I encourage you to find something you can do for someone else. It doesn’t have to be the Boys Scouts, or any other organization though there are many to choose from where the fruit of collective efforts already exist. It can be something as simple as going grocery shopping for someone whom you know can’t get around as well. If you are good with your hands, perhaps you can fix something for someone who can’t afford to pay for that kind of service. Believe me, there are an abundance of opportunities for meeting needs within the community.
To help America be all she has promised, it’s up to us to give of our time and talents to those who need it. When people are not invested in, we have to pick it up on the back end through detention, jail, or simply a mediocre standard of living. An investment early into the lives of people will reap a long lasting dividend for all involved.
Finally, those of us who receive help, (and we all do at times) must make sure we give back and pay it forward.
This will go a long way in helping to make America better!