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Hammers, Hearts, and Hands: Value of a Volunteer

19 June

Hammers, Hearts, and Hands: Value of a Volunteer

I get asked a lot of questions daily. Some are easy to answer, some a little more difficult. Each for different reasons I suppose. The hardest-to-answer questions are the ones that ignite my imagination. I love thinking. I could sit around and think all day. I’ve often dreamed of working in a factory where I would do the same thing all day long, that way I could imagine all day long.

I was recently asked, “What is a volunteer worth?”. I didn’t have an answer. I told them I’d have to think about it. I went home that evening and got on the horn to our bookkeeper, Julie. She’s an absolute magician with numbers. She gave me the figure for the dollar worth of a volunteer and I had a few other mathematical questions for her. She kindly assisted as she always does. Thank you Julie for being a great friend and bookkeeper. I got off of the phone with her and continued to do some thinking and researching and a little bit of imagining. I figured that with the dollar amount a volunteer is worth x the 150,000 volunteers I’ve been privileged to work with over the years x the number of work hours in a day, that volunteers are worth $27,060,000. That of course is simply a dollar amount. My brain likes to work with other things as well, so, to the person with the original question, and anyone else who might be interested, here is my answer to “what is a volunteer worth?”
9,020,000 2×4’s
4,163,076 sheets of drywall
2,706,000 buckets of drywall mud
2,706,000 sheets of OSB
902,000 boxes of siding
386,571 square of shingles
108,240 windows
9,020 warm homes

Over the years these miracle worker volunteers have swung a hammer over one million times.
From them I’ve heard at least 135,000 minutes of laughter.
And they have seen at least one tear from a home owner who was overwhelmed by their love, generosity and their 180,400 hammers, 150,000 hearts, and 300,000 hands.

I hope you found this answer helpful to your question. I sure find you helpful.

Emily Cadenhead, Mission Worker