Thursday, December 9, 2010



This Christmas Season, I've noticed more people are giving to help others who are in dire need due to the economic conditions in Hawaii and in the country. It appears that more are also volunteering to help others less fortunate than themselves.

I'm not a religious person so I am not motivated to praise God or spend time in prayer or praise. Rather, I'm more moved to help those who are in need of food, shelter and clothing. And as I age, the promise of 72 virgins is more of a disincentive than otherwise. Mazlow's Hierchy of human needs states that basic biological needs have to be taken care of before anything else. And that's what people appear to be doing.

I am impressed with some programs like the Angel Tree, Toys for Tots, Foodbank and others servicing our communities without the need for government intervention. Many individual churches quietly feed and clothe those in need quietly, and without fanfare. That's when churches and their members are at their best.
Then, there are programs that service our elderly communities year-round. Meals-on-wheels by Lanakila come to mind. They send hot meals to our elderly every day, using volunteers as their main distribution source. Food is sent to various distribution points by volunteer drivers and are picked up by other volunteers who bring the meals to the elderly who are generally housebound. These volunteers are sometimes the only human contact these elderly people have. So the volunteers serve as eyes and ears so they can alert authorities if the elderly person needs special help and care.

Hospice volunteers also provide a much needed service in our communities. End-of-life care is a special category of services for those who expect to pass, and also provide a tremendous assistance to the families and loved ones in the process.

Our business communities also contribute towards community efforts by volunteering employees, expertise and resources to help. Offering Thanksgiving and Christmas meals to the homeless is one example of what various hotels and restaurants contribute to our communities. Many fast-food chains donate edible foods that have been kept warm for too long and not up to the standards for selling to customers. Supermarkets likewise donate edible food that cannot be sold, to various community causes.

the Institute for Human Services Inc. © 2010

Here is a registry for those who want to volunteer by helping the elderly and for those who need help.

America is unique because as free people, we are able to dig down and help one another without the need for government interference. We have much to be thankful for.

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