I’ve seen this quote a few times on Facebook and I think it really sums up the worth of volunteers.
When I was listening to The Confident Mother conference Sherry divided life into five parts and volunteering can fall into two parts – work (being valued for the work you do) and contribution (your purpose or the contribution you make to the world). I think this reflects more the true value of volunteering as for many it fulfills their ‘work’ – I know that my NCT volunteering filled this gap whilst I wasn’t in paid employment but also it volunteering helps provide people with a contribution to society.
Apparently there are over 21 million people in the UK who volunteer at least once a year and the value of this contribution is estimated as £23.9bn to the UK economy (from http://volunteersweek.org/). I think this is based on how much it would cost to pay people to do the work of volunteers but where would this money come from – to pay for more staff organisations would need to find more funding and employ more fundraisers? Volunteers are truly priceless.