Next week, there will be a major push through the "big 4" television networks in the United States to promote volunteerism. Gus Lloyd, host of Seize the Day on the Sirius/XM Catholic Channel, brought up some concerns regarding this program on his show this morning.
Now, being a volunteer is a good thing, a very good thing. In fact, as Catholics, we're called to volunteer our time and abilities in the service of the Church. I would dare to say that most parishes don't have enough volunteers, and are almost always in need of more people willing to volunteer. The problem that Gus Lloyd has with this program is that many of the so-called volunteer opportunities are really promotions of agendas. For example, if you search the AARP-sponsored Create the Good site for health care, one of the first links is a video on "How To Spread the Truth About Health Care Reform". No matter how important the current debate on health care is, what does it have to do with volunteering in our communities? Gus also points out that several of the volunteer opportunities in the Beverly Hills, CA, area includes volunteering for Planned Parenthood to promote their view of women's health, which always includes abortion on demand. Again, this is politicking, not volunteering.
Gus came up with a great alternative on his show. Instead of using these sites to find volunteer opportunities, find other options. Ask your parish how you can help. Volunteer some time at a crisis pregnancy center. Contact your local St. Vincent de Paul or Catholic Charities and find out what needs they have for service. There are plenty of opportunities to volunteer in a way that will promote a culture of life, not perpetuate the culture of death so common in this country.