Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. I'm particularly drawn to his quote, "Everybody can be great because everybody can serve." Volunteerism is a great equalizer in our country. Each and every person, regardless of their abilities, race or economic status can share their time to help others, and just about all of us at some time need the help of someone else.
One of the things that I have most enjoyed about working in Volunteer Services is meeting a wide variety of people who want to share their time to make Columbia a better place. There is no way to pigeon-hole our volunteers - they come from every walk of life.
I am always pleased to see the young people who volunteer in the summer through Youth In Action - an especially diverse group. They see volunteering is a stepping stone to a better future. Volunteering will help them gain experience for future employment and will look good to future colleges and scholarship committees where they want to be considered. The youth and their families know they can be great through service.
I think we spend time thinking too much about our differences when we should focus on what we have in common. Service is a common denominator among us all. This is a great day to reflect on the volunteerism each of us will share in 2009.