Volunteer Stereotypes

Bleeding hearts…do-gooders…dove-eyed idealists–not terms especially positive. In fact, my dictionary gives the definition of a do-gooder as ‘a well-meaning, but unrealistic or interfering philanthropist or reformer’. Wow.

But volunteers range anywhere from moms in the local PTA to doctors doing surgeries in war zones. When you think of a volunteer, what image first comes to your mind?

Why is that?


9 comments on “Volunteer Stereotypes

  1. I agree that it is someone who wants to make a difference. I also think a volunteer is someone who believes that one person doing small things can make a big difference. It reminds me of the following quote: “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” ~Mother Teresa

    • That’s a great quote from Mother Teresa. Sometimes huge statistics can be so overwhelming that it keeps us from doing something. It seems like, ‘what could you do in the face of all of that?’. But you can help the one. You can always at least help one person. One step and then another.

  2. Probably the image that comes to my mind the most is someone who helps to feed the poor at a soup kitchen or someone like that. But volunteers, as you know, can help out just about anywhere.

  3. Hi,
    Where would we all be without these wonderful people that do volunteer work. Regardless of what sort of work volunteers do they are priceless to society.

    Thank you very much for visiting my blog.

  4. I agree with all the previous comments. When I think of a volunteer, I see someone with a spirit of servanthood. Someone who sees a need, and wants to meet that need themselves, whether through an organization or even in simpler ways like giving someone a ride or running an errand

    Thank you for visiting my blog as well. 🙂 Peace!.

  5. I am a knitter. I see knitters young and old knitting mittens for children and many other projects for the community 🙂

  6. Love this post! I think there are a lot of (unfairly) negative stereotypes associated with many of the people who volunteer a lot, the biggest being that they may be “foolishly idealistic”. I got this (while being casually chuckled at) while I was considering Green Peace and a couple of other initiatives for Peace, animals or women. Thankfully, the volunteerism itself was well enough good vibes to counter all the negative! 🙂


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