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Values in Volunteerism: Reflections of Ivan H. Scheier from 1975-1998

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Loyal readers of e-Volunteerism will remember Ivan Scheier as part of the journal’s advisory team and frequent contributor until his death in 2008. He was a pioneer and mentor to many of us and we devoted an entire issue in 2009 in tribute to him. He was also a prolific writer. In this Voices, we reprint one of Scheier's article on values that evolved in various stages between 1975 and 1998. It does not surprise us that the challenges Scheier laid down more than 40 years ago remain pointed today.

Here is part of Scheier's introduction to the topic:

I believe volunteerism has the potential to integrate with the best and most powerful values in our society today. We can draw more fully on that power if only we will understand, appreciate, and publicize values. This means raising our own consciousness first, launching dialogue and debate, reaching some decision on what the main values are, then announcing them.  The first announcement should be to ourselves – volunteer leaders and volunteers. Then announcements should be made to the world. The purpose is to buttress our case for fundamental, rather than ornamental, status in the world of work and caring, to place us more securely in the mainstream of society. This article attempts to stimulate dialogue.