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50 Volunteer Quotes That Celebrate Giving Back

Published on January 24, 2019 6:34 AM EST
volunteer quotes

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.

volunteer quotes

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.

For more inspiration, don’t forget to also check out our list of giving quotes.

Volunteer quotes that celebrate giving back

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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