Monday, May 15, 2006

  • How to Be A Volunteer and Enjoy Life, by Bill Delong In order to be a good and honest volunteer you must enjoy helping others and in doing so you will be helping yourself. At times you will be placed in very strange and upsetting environments, the rubble of Kosovo, the horror of the earthquake in Colima, Mexico, to the floods of Germany, and the sadness of both Tsunami and Katrina, and lets not forget the World Trade Center, Ground Zero. My heart goes out to all of these sad disasters that I have been involved in; however, seeing the joys and similes on the faces of the (Diabetic Camp in the Republic of Georgia), where the children are enjoying sports, arts and crafts, and lets not forget the evening dances after dinner of the Cha Cha Cha and Disco. I have also found happiness and great fellowship at the various Senior Citizen Centers around the world in Singapore, Hong Kong, England, Australia, Israel, and our own Centers, right in the U.S.A.
    Volunteers are needed in all walks of life, and in view of the fact I have been extremely lucky to enjoy good health, I found after I lost all of my immediate family and my dear Mae, as they lived to be in their 70Â’s and I have continued to reach my middle 80Â’s, I decided fight then to do the right thing, as they would have wanted me to live life to the fullest, and so the only answer to their prayers, is to Help Others, and in doing so you are helping yourself. God Bless America, and may we all continue to think young and positive, and move on to the next level.
    The following listings are the various recommended organizations I have volunteered with and their contacts as I am receiving a great many telephone calls and e mails on, How does one find out where to locate and sign up for volunteer work.
    This is a very serious question to be answered, as I have found out through investigation the Pledges of Money, goes to the request the display in their appeals for support, but disappears into the wind. In some cases, I tell the organization, I will be very happy to support your program, and will give a sizeable amount of money, but only if I can become a volunteer in your cause. And then comes the hang up, or we do not have a volunteer program, we merely help the cause we are sponsoring. Then I hang up. Thank you but no thanks.
    Read this paragraph carefully.
    Volunteer programs both in the USA and around the world, you are expected to pay all expenses, such as Airfare, food lodging, however many organizations sets up home stays which include beds and breakfast, and in some cases meals, some organizations have apartments where the bedrooms are arranged with bunk beds and meals are included, others are very much like Backpacker and Youth Hostels, you can make your own meals , it depends on the organization. There are organization that have a special rate set up at a moderate price hotels, and they supply the motor transportation to and from the area you are working in. Church organizations as well as some Hospital and Orphanages have rooms for their volunteers, such as the basement dorms, or members of the church offer guest facilities.
    Out of pocket expenses vary, airfare, room and board can run anywhere from $2,500.00, on a two week program it can vary from $2,389 plus air, up to $3,000, plus air, it all depends on the country where you are going. USA programs, usually is transportation, and it varies on what type of food and lodging is arranged. I have worked with teams of 8 to 12 people, some are sponsored students or working in the name of an organization. When I go on a project, I do it , in the name of Rotary, and the Hotel Employees and the Restaurant Union Staff as they support my Uncle BillyÂ’s Happy Dollar Fund, set up especially for volunteer work.
    On all volunteers programs at the end of the tour of duty you get a letter of thank you, or a congratulations certificate for your volunteering, along with your receipts, the IRS will accept it as a Tax Deduction for Charity.
    Volunteering in ones own state or city, does not require airfare, so you go by car, bus or subway, therefore, very little expense is involved other than your time, as I do volunteer work at the VA Medical Center Hospital NYC and some Senior Centers all locally, as well as Union programs.
    People who want to volunteer who can’t afford , the foreign third world countries, can apply to hospitals, churches, temples, and at their local City Halls as Mayor Offices have city volunteer projects and it is handled by their Public Relations office.
    Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis all have a net work of helping each other, so if one belongs to one of the organizations, it is just a matter of making contact. They are world wide, and I used them in making arrangements in Mongolia,
    Chernobyl, Mexico, Germany, China etc. YMCA and Youth Hostels in most countries have local volunteer programs, if one has time.
    Salvation Army is all over most of the world , and it is just a matter of finding out where their offices are located, Police, Fire Departments, and Hostel can furnish this information as to where they are located. In NYC it is on 14th St. and they have many volunteer programs locally and nationally, simply fill out an application and have an interview with their volunteer department.
    Not all programs I worked on are Team projects, such as Liberia, Romania, Albania, South Africa etc. They were all individually arranged however, if one wants to take a 100 day trip around the world, then SS Universe, Ship Board Education, run by the University of Pittsburgh is the experience of a life time, I took 3 voyages, 1990, 1995, and the year 2000, at all stops around the world , you can either do sightseeing or volunteer work with the students, all Seniors are Audit students, and stops in each country can vary from 3 to 5 days. Recommended adventuress seniors, they take 25 per voyage , Spring and Fall. Price varies according to cabin, contact University of Pittsburgh, Penna.
    -Cross Cultural Solutions for brochures
    Tel 1-800-380-4777
    E mail for brochure
    Tel 1-800-985-4864 ask for Lisa
    -Feed the Children for brochures
    Larry Jones
    1 800 627 4556
    E mail
    -Global Volunteers
    Teresa Iverson
    1 800 487 1074
    E mail
    -World Missions
    Times Square Church NYC
    Make a personal call and fill out form
    -United Nations Volunteers
    Un Volunteers
    Christiana Kalakoutis-Melas
    For Anne-Marie Bekaert
    Head, Volunteer Resources
    -Online Volunteering
    David Morrison, Press Netaid
    Sharon Capeling-Alakija, Executive Director Un Volunteers
    -Peace Corp
    1 800 424 8580

    -New York City Volunteer Expo 2006
    April 28th & 29th NATIONAL VOLUNTEER WEEK
    Adress at Gotham Hall 36th St. and Broadway New York City
    Call 1 212 473 7875
    If all is not enough, Bill gives all his tips from working as the oldest union waiter at Shea Stadium's Diamond Club, to support volunteer programs at home and around the world. It is his life long goal to set up “Uncle Billy's Happy Dollar Fund” to help orphans and senior citizens. On September 11, 2002 the first anniversity of 911, Bill attented a memorial breakfast at the Regent Wall Street, then proceeded to Ground Zero where he laid a bouquet of Roses at the site in memory of all wait staff, espically those he personaly knew. He mourned the loss of not only their lives, but the lives of almost 3,000 people.
    He recalled what it was like to have worked in the building himself and thought as did everyone in the city of New York how lucky they were to have kept their lives and escaped this, the greatest calamity to have occurred on US soil since Pearl Harbor.
    Bill still remembers all the companies he worked for when he freelanced part time as the a temp in the towers. He stands and wonders how many people did he brush by, meet in the elevator , have cup of coffee or a brief chat with, that are now gone and says a silent prayer sending his love towards Heaven, helped of course, by the countless religious leaders at Ground Zero and around the world who prayed for World Peace.
    In fact, in the that shopping plaza one man will never be forgotten. He took the stock of sneakers from his store and tossed them into the public area instructing women with heels to dawn them so they can run swiftly to safety. We may never know all the acts of heroism that happened that day, were the union waiters giving out water to the rescue workers ? Did they help someone else live and they died? We may never know. But, this we do know, we miss them all and we will never forget them!
    Nor will we ever forget Harold Bill De Long’s Heroism heading to Ground Zero an octogenarian at the time, whe he could have been sitting home watching everything happen on TV. Instead, he was making his way full steam ahead to do what he could. Being put to work in the Salvation Army Tent, he made beds, cleaned, gave out exercise programs , but most of all he brought cheer by taking a rubber latex glove, blowing it up into a balloon and waving it as welcoming hand from NY. He gave his love.
    In 2002, Bill’s heroism was honored when the New York Post presented him with the “Ambassador's’s Medal” which was well deserved. He was also given a Senate Seat in the World Nations Congress where leaders from all over the world met to dicuss important issues. Bill’s forum is “Seniors in the workforce”. He strives to keep seniors active and as vibrant as he is.
    For his lifelong achievements, the ABI, American Biographical Institue has welcomed him into their Hall of Fame as the First Waiter in America. The entire Nation and the World welcomes and will always remember the good he shows everywhere espescialy during 911. We will never forget him and he will never be forgotten.


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