What is your time worth per hour? If you’re a driver, you get paid by the mile or by the load, but not usually by the hour. Have you calculated your value in terms of time?
If you are a volunteer, your time is worth more than you think. Many of you offer your services, your passion, and your time to organizations with missions you support. Sometimes it takes a tragedy for someone to recognize a need to support a charity’s efforts.
If you or a family member suffers from a disease or handicap, you have probably given money to help address the affliction. If your goal is to support environmental efforts, you might assist groups that protect trees, parks, rainforests and other natural settings. Maybe you love animals and want to support groups that adopt or protect various species.
The trucking industry has charities that target professional drivers. TransAlive helps drivers who need a ride when they are physically unable to get home. The St. Christopher Fund assists drivers and their families who experience hardships due to medical needs. Trucker Charity is another non-profit that helps drivers in need due to an emergency. Transport for Christ and Truckstop Ministries both serve the spiritual needs of professional drivers.
There are literary and educational foundations that provide funds for scholarships and those that focus on specific trades or industries. Many trade organizations such as Women In Trucking and Truckload Carriers Association have foundations to support their members. You can’t open a trucking magazine or attend a truck show without seeing a message from a non-profit organization.
Sure, it’s easy to write a check and feel good about your contribution, but if you really want to support a cause, you’ll donate your time.
Time is something we all share equally, twenty-four hours in a day, 365 days in a year. You can’t ask for more hours or minutes or days; you get what everyone else gets. The question is how you’re going to spend it.
Professional drivers are some of the most generous folks around. Look at all the charities you can support that are specific to your industry. Be a Trucker Buddy and send a postcard each week to an elementary class. Join Convoy for a Cure and help fight breast cancer for all women or support the Special Olympics through the Truck Convoy. Contact Truckers Against Trafficking if you see illicit activity at a truck stop. You can make a difference with your time.
According to the Independent Sector website, the estimated dollar value of a volunteer’s time is $21.36 per hour. Think about that number when you’re tempted to write a check or throw a dollar into a donation jar. Sure, your funds are needed but so is your time.
Last year volunteers gave over eight billion hours in time, which amounts to nearly $173 billion of value. If you think you don't have enough hours in a day to give to a charity, please reconsider.
If you need more encouragement, think about the personal benefits you can achieve. According to Volunteering in America’s website, volunteering can make you healthier! Research has shown that volunteers who give more than one to two hours per week live longer and enjoy greater mobility and health.
If you watch any television at all, you might want to give up some of your time in front of the boob tube to volunteer. People who never volunteer are found to spend, on average, 436 more hours of time watching television than their neighbors who volunteer their time. You could put some of that time to good use and help your favorite charitable organization.
Over 26 percent of Americans offer their time as volunteers each year. The top state for volunteering is Utah, and the top metropolitan area is Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota. If you live in New York, you are less likely to be a volunteer and so are your neighbors, as only twenty percent of New Yorkers give their time to charitable efforts.
The next time you hear or see an ad for a non-profit organization, think about how you can support them with your gift of time. Reach out to them and ask them how you can benefit their efforts as you travel while working. You can find the time if you truly desire to do so. Remember, you have the same amount of time as your neighbor, and you can use it to benefit a cause, or you can continue to sit in front of the television.
What’s the value of your time?