|This is an Op Ed Piece that Sean wrote for national distribution regarding National Volunteer Week, April 18-24, 2004|
National Volunteer week is just about over. DARN IT, I failed again! Every time I set my mind to making absolutely sure that I donít forget to schedule some volunteer activity during a specific time frame, I always seem to blow it. Life takes over and it just doesnít get done.
Of course, I can sleep soundly at night because I was lucky enough to be named to President Bushís Council on Service and Civic Participation. So throughout the year Iím presented with plenty of opportunities to volunteer and contribute. I suppose in that regard itís great to be famous! But the truth is, if Iím not initiating some activity or successfully encouraging others to volunteer and become civically involved I feel like Iím not fulfilling my commitment to my President. And not just THIS President, but nearly every President in the history of the country. They have all issued some call to ďServiceĒ and tens of millions of citizens have answered that call. Have you?
I just received a letter from President Carter who heard that I was interested in the work being done at the Carter Center. I nearly flipped! My life is so blessed with prosperity that not a day goes by when I donít give thanks for the gift of being able to live in this extraordinary country of ours. So, even though itís late in the week, I am choosing to act, now! By the morning of Friday April 23rd at 12:00pm Eastern Standard Time. Iím reviewing my website (www.seanastin.com) and the coverage I devote to The Presidentís Council and the various kinds of volunteer work I do throughout the year. By making sure I donít forget to put the name of Jean Webster through to the White House to make sure she receives her Presidential Volunteer Service Award! I met Jean last year at the Atlantic City Film Festival. This extraordinary woman has dedicated her entire life to serving others. She transformed her home into a soup kitchen for folks in need. Sheís become a legend in her community and deservedly so! Jean would probably tell you that the reward was in the doing, but Iím sure she wouldnít mind if Americans learned from her enlightened example. I, for one, am trying to. I know that Jean has helped thousands if not tens of thousands of people in her lifetime; the impact of her effort is of course incalculable.
So is mine and so is yours.