Mercy is the demonstration of compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one's power to punish or harm.
Volunteers are a wonderful example of beings who offer mercy to others by offering compassion to people who they could otherwise harm (by doing nothing). About 62.8 million Americans volunteered through or for an organization at least once between September 2009 and September 2010 (source). That's a lot of helping hands!
When the economy is struggling, volunteers become even more crucial to the functioning of many not-for-profit organizations. Food banks, thrift stores, soup kitchens, crisis nurseries, hospitals, schools, and shelters all depend on volunteers in their communities to keep their doors open. And they do! If you do a quick search of the local organizations by you that are doing great work, stop and consider for a moment all of the people it takes to run and how they are sacrificing their time and efforts for free to promote these positive organizations.
One set of very important volunteers are firefighters. More than two-thirds of the firefighters in this country are actually volunteers (source). Such an important job left to volunteers! Humans can be amazing when they want to be!
One such volunteer firefighter is Ed Webb of Chesapeake, Ohio. Ed is the volunteer firefighter who consoles the grieving, including at a fatal fire where a 10-year-old boy died. He's also the one who talks to the media.
”When the call comes, you have to serve," Ed said. "It could be manning a hose, helping a family that just lost a loved one. There are days when you have a hard time. I want to thank my wife - everybody's wives. Because when our pagers go off, they hear it, too.”
He has served as a volunteer firefighter for more than 20 years and he was recently promoted to Chief.
Besides volunteer firefighting, Ed does plenty of playing Santa, as well as beauty pageant judging, plus a chorus of church work.
Have you ever considered volunteering? It's a very rewarding experience and there are so many places you can go to achieve this goal.
Here are some websites you can go to where you can find a place to volunteer:
However, you can also do little things. I suggest this website for being a "mini-volunteer": http://www.wishuponahero.com/
On this website, people can post wishes they need fulfilled. Some are little (sending a birthday card to someone or a note of encouragements) and some are bigger (a toy or clothing for someone in need). The idea is to extend yourself to someone - to volunteer your patience, love, and generosity.