Volunteers: the true superheroes …

“The highest reward for a person’s toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it.”
John Ruskin

Most of you know me as an aspiring romance author. But from 9 to 5, I dash into my car and come out wearing my day job disguise as a volunteer and employee programs coordinator. One of the best things about my job is that I come in contact with a group of amazing people. Volunteers.

Volunteers have a special place in my heart. They’re ordinary people doing extraordinary things not because they have to, but because they choose to.

For the past six years, Anderson Cooper has done a segment called “CNN Heroes of the Year,” where the global public chooses to recognize 10 extraordinary people who devote their lives to making the world a better place. A recent announcement on CNN revealed the 10 heroes for 2012.

I love this segment. It’s touching, and makes you remember the good in the world–not just the horrific, the upsetting and the ugly.

I’m fortunate to come in contact with many of these extraordinary beings on a weekly, if not daily, basis and my life is richer for it. Although I volunteer on a couple of non-profit boards, my efforts seem minimal compared to the CNN heroes and a few extraordinary people I know personally.

One such volunteer rescues Labrador Retrievers from all parts of the country, and he’s nicknamed, “The Dog Whisper.” He has such a way with dogs, that the most frightened and abused dog, trusts him almost immediately.

Another volunteer, reminisce of Sally Field, in “Norma Rae” and Morgan Freeman, in “Lean On Me” led the charge to rid her neighborhood of drugs, and crime to provide a safe place for children to play, study and live.

One woman, who as an unbelievable rapport with children, donates her time by helping them deal with the grief experienced by the death of a parent.

These are just a few of the amazing people I meet during the course of my job, and I’m honored to know them.

As with the volunteers I meet everyday, I wanted to pay tribute to all these heroes in some way. So sharing this story with all of you seemed like a good way to start.

Batman, Superman and The Avengers step aside and meet the real superheroes.

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