Article, February 2007
The birth of a new year brings changes in membership and planning activities within the "Inner Circles" that often operate almost like occult groups in their private inner sanctums. They are elected or appointed to serve others and work without compensation. These "Inner Circles" operate in civic organizations like computer clubs and represent a very small percentage of the memberships. While those of us who served in the military were told never to volunteer, the "Inner Circles" volunteered.!
Volunteerism is the very life blood of many civic organizations. Research has verified the positive rewards of doing for others and finding meaning in activities which greatly contributes to an older person's ability to age successfully. Older volunteers with their longer experience, often assume leadership roles within nonprofit organizations whose programs and activities are dependent on volunteers for help. Volunteers sometimes receive only modest recognition - since their activities involve free will, beneficence, and lack of reimbursement.
Research has further verified that staying active contributes to a healthier and longer lived life and that social supports are critical to healthy aging. Fisher and Shaeffer in their book, "Older Volunteers" list the following benefits: "self satisfaction, altruism, potential learning or acquisition of new skills, specific benefits for the receivers of volunteer efforts, relaxation, socialization, status of reward, career opportunities, and community involvement."
National Volunteer Week was created in 1974 by President Richard Nixon who signed an executive order establishing an annual celebration of volunteering as a time to recognize and celebrate the efforts of volunteers at the local, state, and national level. The Points of Light Foundation, based in Washington DC, and the Volunteer National Network together reach millions of people to encourage volunteerism. The Foundation has received national recognition as America's address for volunteering. As President George W. Bush commented, "The Points of Light Foundation embodies America’s spirit of volunteerism and the goodwill of its citizens."
Why not make a New Year's resolution (and not break it) to express your appreciation to the past and present members of the "Inner Circle" in your computer club? "A mind is a terrible thing to waste," and like a muscle "use it or lose it." Get involved and volunteer in your computer club in 2007!
Happy New Year from the Computer Club of Oklahoma City and the Association of PC Users Groups!
There is no restriction against any non-profit group using this article as long as it is kept in context with proper credit given the author. The Editorial Committee of the Association of Personal Computer User Groups (APCUG), an international organization of which this group is a member, brings this article to you.Click here to return to top