The Gift of Giving Back
Posted by Guest Blogger
Posted in: Insider Connections
Tags: National Parks, USA
From Guest Blogger Roni Goldberg, Manager, Tauck World of Giving
I have always gotten great pleasure out of helping and doing for others. It’s just who I am. When I was growing up, my friends knew they could count on me. When I was in college, it went beyond my friends to the community - I volunteered on a crisis hotline. In graduate school and through the early part of my professional career, I volunteered at soup kitchens, charity events and participated in various work projects to clean and beautify the community. As my career and life evolved, I continued my volunteer work through board service and hands-on involvement with various organizations in my community and around the world.
When you volunteer your time, you are giving a measurable gift. The amount of time spent and the labor costs to do the job can easily be calculated for a numerical value. However, I would argue that volunteer service is invaluable and that no measurement could reflect its true worth. Of course you can calculate the cost of time and materials but is that the singular value of the volunteer effort? I would say not! I believe such a calculation overlooks the intrinsic value. Can you possibly assign a numerical assessment to how you feel after completing a volunteer service project? As I look back on the volunteer efforts that I have participated in throughout my life, I can honestly say that each of them has provided me much more than I have given to the places and organizations to which I gave my time and energy. Volunteering is truly the gift of giving: you give to others and it gives back to you!
Organizing employee volunteer events for Tauck provides me with the good fortune of incorporating volunteerism and giving back to my professional life. The volunteer spirit that thrives amongst Tauck employees is the bonus. I am continually amazed at the giving nature of Tauck employees with each event I run. There are the employees who insist on volunteering though they are recently recovered from illnesses. There are always the employees who will not quit until the project is completed to perfection, often asking to stay beyond the end time of the event – and those who go back on personal time to complete the task. Whether it is office employees at a local event, remote employees participating in a Tourism Cares event around the nation or Tauck Tour Directors participating in a volunteer effort during their annual seminar, it is clear to me that the volunteer spirit is alive and well at Tauck.
The volunteer spirit is contagious. It has spread to Tauck guests. On tours that visit Grand Teton National Park, Tauck makes a volunteer experience available to guests if they are interested. This program has been in existence since 2003. This past summer, we celebrated an exciting milestone – more than 15,000 Tauck guests have chosen to volunteer time to help preserve Grand Teton National Park. This is a true testament to the contagious spirit of volunteerism.
Whether it is Tauck employees or our guests, there are certain things which are consistent with all of our volunteer events. At the beginning of the day the task seems daunting but after the hard work, everyone is more energized than when they started and by the end of the day, volunteers are amazed at the amount of work accomplished and the impact made in a short amount of time. Volunteering is the ultimate gift… you give and it gives back to you.
And remember, “Volunteers are not paid -- not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless.” – Anonymous