Party News

It all started with a bucket

Jun 1, 2022 | By Cindy Pabst, Party News

Volunteering: It all started with a bucket. Read on to learn more.

Volunteering has been around for at least 400 years. It was around the 16th/17th centuries that the word “volunteer” was first used. But the context was war. In Europe, people, mostly men, volunteered to fight for causes important to them. 

Before war broke out on this continent, volunteerism took on a more personal flavor. For instance, Benjamin Franklin, then a 30-year-old publisher of “The Pennsylvania Gazette,” wrote a series of articles on how to fight the fires that raged in Philadelphia. Ultimately, his volunteers were called Benjamin Franklin’s Bucket Brigade because their major tool to fight fires was…buckets. Volunteers pledged to help immediately when the call for help went out. Not only did these volunteers help fight the fires, they also protected the victims from looters. Yes, there were looters even then. 

It took about another 100  years for volunteering to really take hold. Aid societies, some religious, some not, built churches, and shelters, collected donations for the poor and immigrants, and, generally, gave time and expertise to help others who couldn’t help themselves. This became a global effort, one that has intensified as the world has become more complicated and more divided between the have and the have-nots. 

Studies validate the benefits of volunteering. Besides the obvious benefit of helping to build a better community and a better world, it’s been documented that volunteering helps against the effects of stress – for everyone, the volunteer, and the community being served. 

AARP Foundation Experience Corps says that more than 85 percent of volunteers feel their lives have improved because of their involvement with the program. 98 percent reported the program helped them stay physically and mentally active. Lisa Marsh Ryerson, president of AARP Foundation. Says,  “People want to matter and to be valued across their life.”

If you want to do more to help your community, there are many ways you can participate. To learn more about what you can do to make Santa Fe County, and New Mexico a better place to live, ClickHere .