The Value in Volunteering: Time VS Money

About two years ago I found myself looking for something more meaningful to my life. I had a good job, friends and family, but it felt like I wasn’t giving back anything to my community. That’s when I decided to join Kiwanis.

For those of you that don’t know what Kiwanis is:  Membership in Kiwanis and its family of clubs is more than 600,000 members strong. Each year, Kiwanis clubs raise more than $100 million and report more than 18.5 million volunteer hours to strengthen communities and serve children.

The Kiwanis club in my city (Bowling Green KY) sponsors several events each year to help give back to the children in our community and also children across the world. I have been beyond impressed with the accomplishments of this caring, dedicated and selfless group of people.

Then one day I took a look around me. I was sitting in a room of several well respected, successful and prominent individuals. And here I am, just some pay check to pay check single mom with little to no influence on the world trying to be like them. What am I doing here?

I have seen donations be made by these people in amounts that are more than I make in a month to support a cause that obviously strikes a chord in their hearts. And I admire their donations. I, quite honestly, am envious of their ability to give back in a way that I know I can’t.

I have questioned my belonging in this group several times over the years wondering, how I am making an impact? I have wondered if my membership dues and weekly Happy Dollars actually make a dent in the difference this group is making in our community. But I already know the answer. NO

But I stay. Why? Because they need my TIME.

100% of the hours worked in this organization are volunteer hours. Hours worked by people with jobs, families, business to run and extra curricular activities to go to. People just like me that devote hours upon hours each year to make sure that the events we hold are successful and lucrative.  So that this group can go on doing what they were established to do. To give back to these children.

So I take a step back…. a step back from the anxiety of not being able to help monetarily. I ask myself what is my time worth to me, I multiply that by 1000 and that becomes the value of my time to them. 1 hour or 1000 hours, it’s all worth something.

Giving money is easy. Spending the time is what’s hard. Devoting yourself to a cause is what makes you great!  Not how many zero’s are on the check you write.

Anyone can spend money, but it’s the real heartfelt spirit masters that spend the time.

If everyone shied away from an organization because they couldn’t contribute money, if everyone devalued their time such as I have considered doing, then these organizations wouldn’t exist at all. If people don’t see the price tag attached to their own hands, then organizations like this one will fade.

So I ask you as friends, how valuable is your time? Don’t you believe that time could be valuable to someone else? Someone who is in need.  Why aren’t you using the time you have to help someone or some organization? What better things do you have to do?

I can guarantee that you will walk away gaining much more than you give. The feeling of making a difference, and friendships you develop are priceless.

Don’t you know that your time is more valuable than money?


Want to help out a good cause?

Contact your local city resource center

Bowling Green is



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