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Do People Who Volunteer Have a Distinctive Ethos?

A Canadian Study

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The Values of Volunteering

Part of the book series: Nonprofit and Civil Society Studies ((NCSS))

Abstract

In the mid-1940s, Le Chambon was an unremarkable village of 3000 souls in the mountains of south-east France, midway between Geneva and Marseille. During the four years of World War II when much of France was under the control of its German occupiers, a handful of Le Chambon’s residents performed an exceptional act: they secretly sheltered and provided safe passage for nearly five thousand Jews who would otherwise have been rounded up and sent to the camps in Germany and Poland, most to their deaths. The residents of Le Chambon who participated in this sustained act of courage did so at great risk to their own lives and without thought for personal advantage. This historical event prompts for many the question, why did they do it? What was it about these few people, and not the many others around them, and visibily no different from them, that energized such behavior? As Philip Hallie has recounted it in Lest Innocent Blood Be Shed (1979), a significant part of the answer can be found in the particular set of moral precepts and values they held in common as members of a small Protestant church congregation.

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© 2003 Springer Science+Business Media New York

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Reed, P.B., Selbee, L.K. (2003). Do People Who Volunteer Have a Distinctive Ethos?. In: Dekker, P., Halman, L. (eds) The Values of Volunteering. Nonprofit and Civil Society Studies. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4615-0145-9_6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4615-0145-9_6

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Boston, MA

  • Print ISBN: 978-0-306-47854-3

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-4615-0145-9

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