Denver, Colorado … The church is a beautiful organization, each unique in its location, size and number, yet the phenomenon that occur daily within our churches and that reach outside them represent the hands and feet of Christ at work. Our volunteers are extremely important.

Have you ever stopped to figure out the hourly value of a volunteer?  Independent Sector has announced that the estimated value of a volunteer hour in the U.S. reached $25.43 in 2018, up nearly 3 percent from $24.69 in 2017. (See: April 2018)

Are you needed?  Are you valuable? The church cannot function without you. Yes, you are needed and you are valuable!

During the pandemic, volunteering in your community is more important than ever.  It is good to be reminded that we are the hands and feet of Christ showing His love to the hurting world. It matters not where you live. Local food pantries or other organizations can use your support. Join another local church that is sponsoring a food drive. Help deliver food to those who are shut ins.  Walk the dogs at the local animal shelter. Check on your neighbors.

When you volunteer, please think of your community as a pond. The rippling of our community water is amazing. See how it works:

A. The Community of the inner circle: These include church family members who are elderly, who are caretakers, or have health issues such as with the respiratory system or the heart.
1. Make daily phone calls to check on them
2. See if your church could possibly purchase food items to deliver.
3. Hospital/nursing care facility visits are not allowing visitors, but you can call them.
4. Pray.

B. The Community of the larger circle:  These include those within this community who are elderly or shut-in, caretakers, those with health issues, parents with children at home from school, restaurant and other such business workers. They could also include members of the church who have not been attending. How can you support these groups?
1. Volunteer to pick up prepaid supplies from stores.
2. Be watchful of all those around you.
3. Pray

C. The Community of the greater circle: These people include the community as a whole.
1. Register with 2-1-1 in your community online or call (Each State has 2-1-1).
2. Register with Spark the Change in Colorado website
3. Organize volunteer groups: Call your local food bank/pantry to find needs.
4. Pray

Please abide by the Order to Shelter in Place in your community. If you are going to volunteer, register before you go so you know when to go.  Know what is expected of you when you report to the agency.  When you register with an agency, make sure you tell them your age.  Please, DO NOT VOLUNTEER if you are over 65 years of age or have a health condition that makes you more susceptible to the COVID-19 virus.

Cathy Kissner, RMC Adventist Community Services director; photo by Isiah Gibson on Unsplash