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Volunteer Quotes That Celebrate Giving Back

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This “volunteer quotes” collection will inspire you to make a difference in the lives of others.

Volunteering is a great way to bring positive change to people, communities and society in general.

Although it can be hard to find time to volunteer, giving to others has enormous benefits to you and those around you.

Helping others gives you a chance to give back to the community or make a difference to the people around you.

It also offers an opportunity to develop new skills or to build on your existing experience and knowledge.

Volunteering is also good for your health and well-being.

It can help protect both your mental and physical health.

Besides, it can give you a sense of purpose and even advance your career.

Regardless of motivation, we should all consider making volunteering part of our everyday lives.

So to help bring out the spirit of giving back, below is our collection of volunteer quotes, volunteer sayings, and volunteer proverbs, collected from a variety of sources over the years.

Check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily inspiration. 

Our inspirational quote category page has even more inspirational and educational quotes.

Volunteer quotes that celebrate giving back

1. ”What is the essence of life? To serve others and to do good.” – Aristotle

Volunteer quotes what is the essence of life?

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2. ”Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.” – Elizabeth Andrew

Volunteer quotes that Volunteers do not necessarily have the time

3. ”We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill

Volunteer quotes that celebrate giving back

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4. ”Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they’re worthless, but because they’re priceless.” – Sherry Anderson

Volunteer quotes about volunteers don't get paid

5. ”Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” – Leo Buscaglia

Volunteer quotes about underestimate the power of a touch

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6. ”Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.” – H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Volunteer quotes about remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more


If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of giving quotes about the power of generosity.

7. ”Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain loving one another.” – Erma Bombeck

Volunteer quotes about they are only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation's compassion

8. ”It is not enough to be compassionate – you must act” – The Dalai Lama

Volunteer quotes it is not enough to be compassionate - you must act

9. ”The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others” – Mahatma Gandhi

Volunteer quotes about the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others

10. ”The world is hugged by the faithful arms of volunteers.” – Terri Guillemets

Volunteer quotes about the world is hugged by the faithful arms of volunteers

Volunteer quotes to inspire you to make a difference in the lives of others

11. ”Volunteers are love in motion!” – Unknown

Volunteer quotes about volunteers are love in motion

12. ”God and angels don’t get paid even though theirs is some of the most important work around. Ditto for volunteers.” – Cherishe Archer

Volunteer quotes from Cherishe Archer

13. ”Volunteers will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no volunteers.” – Ken Wyman

Volunteer quotes from Ken Wyman

14. “You have not lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” – John Bunyan

Volunteer quotes about you have not lived until you have done something for someone

15. ”I’ve learnt that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.” – Maya Angelou

Volunteer quotes about throwing back

16. ”The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.” – Oscar Wilde

Volunteer quotes to inspire you to make a difference in the lives of others

17. ”Unselfish and noble actions are the most radiant pages in the biography of souls.” – David Thomas

Volunteer quotes about unselfish and noble actions are the most radiant pages in the biography of souls

18. ”It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference.” – Tom Brokaw

Volunteer quotes about easy to make a buck

19. “Be of service. Whether you make yourself available to a friend or co-worker, or you make time every month to do volunteer work, there is nothing that harvests more of a feeling of empowerment than being of service to someone in need.” – Gillian Anderson

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Volunteer quotes be of service


If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of quotes about service about the power of serving others.

20. ”Volunteerism is currency that appreciates.” – Administrators Of Volunteer Resources

Volunteer quotes that volunteerism is currency that appreciates

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Volunteer quotes to help you bring positive change to people, communities and society

21. ”The most truly generous persons are those who give silently without hope of praise or reward.” – Carol Ryrie Brink

Volunteer quotes about most truly generous persons are those who give silently without hope of praise or reward

22. ”The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves.” – Helen Keller

Volunteer quotes about the unslfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves

23. ”The greatest poverty that can afflict the human spirit is the loss of a generous heart. You will know that success has slipped away when your passion for helping others grows cold.” – Bill Lane Doulos

Volunteer quotes for helping others grows cold

24. ”Never underestimate your ability to make someone else’s life better – even if you never know it.” – Greg Louganis

Volunteer quotes about never underestimate your ability to make someone else's life better

25. ”Three keys to more abundant living: caring about others, daring for others, sharing with others.” – William Arthur Ward

Volunteer quotes about three keys to more abundant living

26. ”The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.” – Stonewall Jackson

27. ”Being good is commendable, but only when it is combined with doing good is it useful.” – Stephen King

28. ”Only a life lived for others is worth living.” – Albert Einstein

Volunteer quotes to help you bring positive change to people, communities and society

29. ”Volunteering creates a national character in which the community and the nation take on a spirit of compassion, comradeship, and confidence.” – Brian O’Connell

30. ”Love cannot remain by itself – it has no meaning. Love has to be put into action, and that action is service.” – Mother Teresa

volunteer quotes to inspire and motivate you

31. ”If our hopes of building a better and safer world are to become more than wishful thinking, we will need the engagement of volunteers more than ever.” – Kofi Annan

32. ”The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” – William Shakespeare

33. ”If you become a helper of hearts, springs of wisdom will flow from your heart.” – Rumi

Volunteer quotes about you become a helper of hearts

34. ”One can pay back the loan of gold, but one dies forever in debt to those who are kind.” – Malayan Proverb

35. ”From my early school days, I was brought up with the belief that we have a duty to use our talents, to volunteer and to make a contribution.” – Michael Hintze

36. ”I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy. I woke and I saw that life is all service. I served and I saw that service is joy.” – Kahlil Gibran

37. ”A single act of kindness is like a drop of oil on a patch of dry skin—seeping, spreading, and affecting more than the original need.” – Richelle E. Goodrich

38. ”Whatever community organization, whether it’s a women’s organization, or fighting for racial justice … you will get satisfaction out of doing something to give back to the community that you never get in any other way.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg

39. ”You may not have saved a lot of money in your life, but if you have saved a lot of heartaches for other folks, you are a pretty rich man.” – Seth Parker

40. ”At the end of the day it’s not about what you have or even what you’ve accomplished… it’s about who you’ve lifted up, who you’ve made better. It’s about what you’ve given back.” – Denzel Washington

Other inspirational volunteer quotes

41. “Volunteers are paid in six figures… S-M-I-L-E-S.” – Gayla LeMaire

42. “You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have really lived, are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love.” – Henry Drummond

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43. “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” – Aesop

44. “Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver.” – Barbara De Angelis

45. “Even if you just change one life, you’ve changed the world forever.” – Mike Satterfield

Volunteer quotes about changing life

46. “What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.” – Albert Pike

47. “Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.” – James Matthew Barrie

48. “Even if it’s a little thing, do something for those who have need of a man’s help– something for which you get no pay but the privilege of doing it. For, remember, you don’t live in a world all your own. Your brothers are here, too.” – Albert Schweitzer

49. “The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” – Nelson Henderson

50. “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?” –  Martin Luther King, Jr.

51. “The day you find out who you are is when you look back and realize that it was never the words, rather your actions that defined you.” – Shannon L. Alder

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More Volunteer Quotes and Sayings

52. “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” Martin Luther King Jr.

53. “As you grow older, you will discover you have two hands — one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” Audrey Hepburn

54. “The effect of one good-hearted person is incalculable.” – Oscar Arias

55. “As we lose ourselves in the service of others, we discover our own lives and our own happiness.” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf

56. “Volunteering is at the very core of being human. No one has made it through life without someone else’s help.” – Heather French Henry

57. “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” – Charles Dickens

58. Volunteers help drive our country’s progress, and day in and day out, they make extraordinary sacrifices to expand promise and possibility. Barack Obama

59. “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.” – Edward Everett Hale

60. “It’s impossible to be involved in all situations, but there’s no excuse not to be involved in something, somewhere, somehow, with someone.” – Richelle E. Goodrich

61. “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” Desmond Tutu

Volunteer Quotes To Celebrate Heroism

62. “Volunteering to help others is the right thing to do, and it also boosts personal happiness.” ― Gretchen Rubin

63. “Volunteering is an act of heroism on a grand scale. And it matters profoundly. It does more than help people beat the odds; it changes the odds.” ― William J. Clinton

64. “If a volunteer can help us with an immediate need, we can put them in a place to make their greatest contribution.” ― Andy Stanley

65. “Some people will always be volunteers to explore, and it is, in my mind, a privilege.” ― Julie Payette

66. “One of the gratuities about being a director is that you can volunteer yourself out of difficult details.” ― Steven Spielberg

67. “Volunteer. Sometimes the jobs no one wants conceal big opportunities.” ― H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

68. “Many people (who go to her as volunteers) have found peace, joy and unity in their families by helping the poor.” ― Mother Teresa

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69. “No matter how big and powerful the government gets, and the many services it provides, it can never take the place of volunteers.” ― Ronald Reagan

70. “Research has shown that people who volunteer often live longer.” ― Allen Klein

71. “Volunteering is a window into the passions of the soul.” ― Patrick Dixon

Volunteer Quotes To Willingly Do Something

72. “Volunteering is also now more crucial than ever in helping people find work.” ― Boris Johnson

73. “The usual trouble with volunteers is not killing them with overwork, but simply boring them to death.” ― Harold J. Seymour

74. “It sometimes occurs that memory has a personality of its own and volunteers or refuses its information at its will, not at mine.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

75. “The volunteering spirit of Londoners is part of what makes this the best big city on earth.” ― Boris Johnson

76. “Everything in this world can volunteer some reply, what takes up time is posing the questions.” ― Jose Saramago

77. “There are no victims, only volunteers.” ― Robert Anthony

78. “No matter what your politics is, we ought to be thanking people for volunteering.” ― George W. Bush

79. “The broadest, and maybe the most meaningful definition of volunteering: Doing more than you have to because you want to, in a cause you consider good.” ― Ivan Scheier

80. “If everyone has to be a watchdog in order to make government work, then the foxes will also volunteer to serve.” ― William Greider

81. “Volunteerism is the voice of the people put into action. These actions shape and mold the present into a future of which we can all be proud.” ― Helen Dyer

Volunteer Quotes When You Willingly Offer Service to Others

82. “Interests evolve into hobbies or volunteer work, which grow into passions. It takes time, more time than anyone imagines.” ― Po Bronson

83. “Volunteers are caring friends.” ― Don Williams

84. “What volunteers bring is the human touch, the individual, caring approach that no government program, however well-meaning and well- executed, can deliver.” ― Edward James Olmos

85. “Giving to others selflesly and anonymously, radiating light throughout the world and illuminating your own darkness, your virtue becomes a sanctuary for yourself and all beings.” ― Laozi

86. “Volunteering is so pervasive it’s invisible. We take for granted all the things that have been pioneered by concerned, active volunteers.” ― Susan J. Ellis

87. “A mystery of the universe is how it has managed to survive with so much volunteer help.” ― Norman Maclean

88. “It’s amazing to me the number of people who will volunteer to help at church but won’t lift a finger to help at home!” ― Joyce Meyer

89. “You can study government and politics in school, but the best way to really understand the process is to volunteer your time.” ― Rob McKenna

90. “The life of a man consists not in seeing visions and in dreaming dreams, but in active charity and in willing service.” ― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

91. “Most kids will not volunteer to eat veggies. At times you must step up to the plate and enforce the rule of authority as a parent.” ― Lee Haney

Did you enjoy these volunteer quotes?

Volunteering is both challenging and rewarding.

But regardless of the reason, giving back provides many opportunities and benefits.

If you aren’t currently volunteering, you should consider it since the returns far outweigh the time you invest.

We hope that the above quotes will inspire you to make a difference in the lives of others.

Which of the above volunteer quotes resonated with you best?

Do you have any other favorite quotes to add to the list?

Let us know in the comment section below.

Norbert Juma, Lead Editor
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