Posted By Vicki McClure Davidson on January 2, 2010
I’ve always been a huge proponent of giving back to my community… long before Mr. Barack Obama came on the scene and told me I should.
Over the years, I’ve mentored youth in many capacities. I was an active Girl Scout leader for 7 years, was a Sunday School teacher and helped with many church charity efforts, served on my children’s PTA board for 3 years, was a D.O.A.R. volunteer, have organized food, clothing, and used book drives for a local women’s domestic violence center, a wildlife shelter, and a local school for homeless children. I’ve coached high schoolers for speech competitions, I’m a United Blood Services “Gallon Club” member, and I support our deployed troops through cards, letters, and military care packages sent to the war zones. Our family currently supports three children in Africa through the former Christian Children’s Fund (now called ChildFund International). We give a donation every year to the USO, no matter how stretched our finances are.
I give more than some, MUCH less than others. Americans freely give more of their time, skills, energy, and money to worthy causes than any other group of people in the world. Most Americans are beyond generous when it comes to helping others in need or supporting valuable services.
So when POTUS says we must donate more, volunteer more, give more, part of me agrees, but the other part gets royally rankled because Americans who are already doing so much volunteer work are being disregarded. Snubbed, if you will, and that’s pretty insulting to those millions of Americans who are active, passionate volunteers.
Also, it seems that only specific liberal programs are endorsed by Team Obama. Political bias is rampant, even for the worthy causes it showcases. Church volunteering and conservative causes are not encouraged nor recognized by the White House service websites (that may have changed since I last looked, but I doubt it).
I also believe that helping out charities must be VOLUNTARY, a personal choice, one not to ever be mandated. When it is mandated by our government, it becomes a form of slavery.
Therefore, when I read that actor Dennis Haysbert (I loved him as Pres. David Palmer on 24 and Jonas Blane on The Unit), is the spokesperson for AllState Insurance’s BeyondFebruary volunteer program, I was intrigued, but also skeptical. It sounded like it could be yet another welfare-entitlement-like or statist program that Team Obama was pushing.
But it appears that I was wrong.
From Zimbio, Dennis Haysbert Wants You to Volunteer:
Dennis Haysbert, the face and spokesman of AllState Insurance, is a big philanthropist, you know. Not only does the actor (who plays Jonas Blane on the CBS series The Unit) want you not to burn down your house with a turkey deep frier (but if you do, use your AllState Insurance), he also wants people to give back some of their time in the form of volunteer work.
“All you really need to do is go to beyondfebruary.com,’ Haysbert said. “It will ask you to put in your zip code and what will come up is all the different places that you can volunteer.”
This is the second year that AllState is sponsoring Give Back.
Still skeptical, I visited the website, plugged in my zip code in Arizona, and 711 volunteer opportunities popped up. From what I saw, this Beyond February program differs tremendously from the government’s volunteer program because it also includes faith-based and conservative-oriented volunteer programs, in addition to exclusively liberal charities.
Here’s just a sample of the charitable organizations AllState links to in my area:
Catholic Charities Social Services AZ, Girl Scouts-Arizona Cactus-Pine Council, Inc., U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla, Barness Family East Valley Jewish Community Center, Mesa Police Department, Arizona Sexual Assault Network, WildHorse Ranch Rescue, Arizona Humane Society, Serenity Hospice Foundation, Arizona State Veteran Home, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona, Arizona Museum for Youth, Maryvale Family YMCA, Child Crisis Center, Paradise Valley Emergency Food Bank, Ronald McDonald House, Christian Care, Brambley Hedge Rabbit Rescue, City of Scottsdale Fire Department, Friends of the Tempe Public Library, Bravery Project, Inc., Asian Pacific Community in Action (APCA), Beagles of Arizona Rescue Club, Arts & Business Council, American Heart Association, Lutheran Social Services of the SW, Lodestar Day Resource Center, The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, SHARE! High School Student Exchange Program, American Red Cross, Chrysalis Shelter for Victims of Domestic Violence, United Food Bank, The Salvation Army, Medical Rescue Posse, Face in the Mirror, Arizona Braille and Talking Book Library, Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Liberty Wildlife
If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to give back and help out charities this year, give AllState’s site a look. You can find out more at BeyondFebruary.com (click here to go straight to the zip code locator volunteer match section). During this economic recession, more organizations need more help because more hard-working Americans are in need.
If you can give some of your time, skills, or donations to any charity, you’ll make a difference, and that’s a great feeling.