This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

December 26, 2000

Grass Roots Efforts to Make a Difference

5 Days until January 1, 2001

Interest in making a difference in the lives of others is increasing, but interest in organized volunteerism is decreasing. What's happening? Do people want to volunteer, or don't they?

As we see this trend, people want to share, give, and help others. Traditionally, much contributing to those in need was done through active membership in volunteer organizations. People gave their time, energy, ideas, and resources.

Today, time is precious. People are protective of their time, their nonrenewable resource. They are already so busy with work, school, family, and personal interests. It's often difficult for them to commit to a schedule of committee meetings, projects, and other activities that interfere with their already full lives.

Rather than engaging in long-term endeavors requiring meetings or work days over extended periods of time, more people are participating in events to help others,. They'll commit to involvement for a few hours, a day or so, but on a short-term basis. Clean-up days, gatherings to build a house for Habitat for Humanity, week-end projects to clear a walking trail in a park, or car washes to raise funds will still attract volunteers.

More people will send monetary contributions, donate clothing or furniture to the needy, or provide food to be consumed by those less fortunate. A number of established relief and support agencies increase their effectiveness by making it easier for people to be able to help with minimal trouble-and time. An example is the use of the internet to gather support for fighting hunger. Visit to see how this works. You can click on the button and donate 1.3 cups of staple food, paid for by corporate sponsors. If you bookmark the site and visit it every day, you can donate 474.5 cups a year and it won't cost you a penny. Thanks to Bill Marvin for bringing this opportunity to our attention.

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