During my time in Utah, I really saw the value of volunteer work, not just to the organisations that depend on the resource, but also for the people who were volunteering their time and their talents at all stages of their lives. I saw the benefit to individuals of giving their time and skills, gratis, not only because they had a sense of having given service by helping others, but also a feeling of self-worth, because they had found inside themselves a personal gift or skill. They had a sense that their skill was valued and in turn they themselves felt valued.
I work with community groups at home and I know how important that feeling can be personally and to the community as a whole. We all need to feel needed. Self-worth is a fundamental part of the human spirit. If we lack self-worth we often feel that we can alter this by "receiving" gifts , buying ourselves clothes, food, gifts, a better house, a more expensive car, but the truth is that we only gain self-worth and self-esteem by giving. Self-worth is also only attained by self-acceptance and identifying our strengths and our vulnerabilities. Giving of our time, our talents, our experience and wisdom, or even just listening when someone else needs so desperately to talk is truly valuable.
If we don't value ourselves how can we expect others too?