The genealogical community is filled with opportunities for service and with those who give service. I am so thankful to all the genealogists who give of their time to help others be successful. I have rarely seen any group of individuals who are so willing to give of their personal time.
One of the most used sites for service is FindaGrave.com . FindaGrave has more than 70 million grave entries, many with photos of the headstone. If the photo of the headstone does not exist on their site a request can be placed that is forwarded to volunteers in the area of the cemetery who have committed to give of their time to shoot photos. Often the request is completed in only a few days. More than 800,000 individuals have taken photos of graves all over the world.
Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness has been functioning for many years. Individuals have volunteered to look up records, help with genealogical problems, and other acts of service. Recently the individual that was responsible for founding the organization passed away. The site is currently down, but the service provided from the many volunteers who participated will be a legacy that will live on into the future.
US and WorldGen web have thousands of volunteers who author information on how to solve genealogical problems. They also have message boards where individual questions can be answered. The volunteers give of their time and talents to help move forward genealogy.
Family History Expos has formed a new model for genealogical conferences. These conferences offer experienced genealogists as lecturers. From beginner to experts they offer speakers who can provide help and training on a wide range of genealogical topics. Nearly all of the speakers volunteer their time. This keeps the cost of the conference low.
FamilySearch has more than 300 genealogical courses available for free on FamilySearch.org. Many of the best speakers and instructors in the genealogical community have given their time and talents to produce these many training courses. Their volunteer efforts have meant that more than 1,000,000 people have been able to receive training from professionals for free.
FamilySearch forums and wiki have thousands of volunteers that have provided help to millions of individuals looking for answers. Whether the individual is searching for help on a record type or locality, or whether they have a question they just cannot solve on their own, the volunteers at FamilySearch will step in and help with their problem.
Family History Centers, like the one here in Morgan, are staffed by volunteers. Worldwide there are more than 30,000 volunteers that provide help in Family History Centers. They help in more than 3,000,000 individuals each year to find ancestors and solve other genealogical problems.
I have personally benefitted from the services of many genealogists. They have helped me to solve problems, learn more about the work, and connected me to others who have helped. I have tried to give back in kind, where I can. I am thankful for all the genealogists who serve. It is this service that helps more individuals to find the joy that is Family History.