Ode to Joy (aka Volunteerism) by Marylyn Schultz

I am writing this to sing of the pleasures and satisfaction one gets from volunteering and helping in the myriad ways that keep our many-faceted temple activities running smoothly—all ages and genders are welcome!

Helping Ellen, our Executive Director, with some of the many responsibilities that rest on her shoulders is extremely worthwhile. For our retirees, this can be a great way to spend some of your spare time. It’s also a wonderful way to make new temple friends or share an hour or two with close friends. You pick the day, time, and hours that you are available. The “chores” vary from day to day, with some as simple as folding and stuffing into envelopes the notices that go to the Congregation or wrapping gifts for our Hebrew school students, and others more involved, such as readying the temple for holiday events.

It’s a huge effort to run the business of our temple. I recently organized into two binders (punch the holes, put them in the binders) the unbelievable amount of paperwork—invoices, statements, contracts, documents, and more—that keep the temple up and running! I was totally “blown away” and it gave me a much greater appreciation of the time and experience that our clergy and members of the board and committees give. I have been a volunteer for a little more than ten years and it would be a stretch to think I could continue for ten more (being a very senior senior). But as long as I wake up in the morning, put my feet on the floor and they move, I shall continue to move them to Sha’aray Shalom, where whatever time I give is always warmly welcomed and thanked.  It’s such a nice way to “feel the love.”