“There’s nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer.”-Colonel Jimmy Doolittle
Eighty years ago today, April 18, 1942, Colonel Jimmy Doolittle led a raid of 80 volunteer crew members, manning 16 B-25B Mitchell aircraft and bombed five Japanese cities, including Tokyo, in retaliation for Japan’s surprise bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Historians look back at this as a turning point for United States (and the Allies) in WWII.
The last surviving member of “Doolittle’s Raiders” was Lt. Col. Richard A. (Dick) Cole, who died on April 9, 2019, at the age of 103. Lt. Cole was Jimmy Doolittle’s co-pilot. He was also a native of Dayton, OH. When Dick Cole enlisted in the Army Air Corp, the staff sergeant told him, “Never volunteer for anything.” I am glad he disobeyed that directive.
April 17-23 is National Volunteer Week (#NVW). Globally, April is National Volunteer month. It is only fitting that we stop and take time to honor the millions of people across this nation (and world) who sacrificially give of their time and resources to serve others.
Over my 35 years of ministry, I have been blessed by thousands of volunteers. As the new Executive Director at the Life Enrichment Center, I see the value of a volunteer every day. Some are serving a hot meal to a homeless man. Others drive a bus to pick up a Senior Adults so they can attend a Bible Study and fitness class. There are 12-16 volunteers who show up every week to divide donated food that helps 8 other non-profits. This Spring and Summer, we will have several church teams on our campus, painting, weeding, and spreading mulch. These volunteers are fleshing out the principles that Jesus taught us of (1) not letting our right hand know what the left is doing (Matthew 6:3) and (2) serving others that cannot do anything for us (Luke 14:14).
To all the Life Enrichment Center volunteers that have served, are serving and will serve, THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU!
Randy Chestnut, Executive Director of Life Enrichment Center