As I was interviewing Al and Gloria Ash this week about the county Department on Aging’s transportation program, which they are volunteers for, Al told me that he gets much more back from volunteering than the effort he puts in. He’s completely right.
Getting to know people, getting to know your community, and the satisfaction of knowing you’ve done something good for the community are all benefits of volunteerism. Volunteerism is especially important in small communities, which can’t spend an issue away. Everything of value to the community takes a group effort.
Many hands make for light loads. Never has that been more apparent than Tuesday when Kiwanians and the newspaper staff worked together to stuff candy in Easter eggs for Saturday. With plentiful help, it took about 30 minutes to stuff 700 or more eggs, which would have taken hours with a smaller group.
Marion is fortunate, as it has a strong culture of volunteerism for a great variety of activities and groups, whether volunteers’ efforts benefit students, senior citizens, families in poverty, veterans, young children, churches, or public institutions like the library. There are always people willing to help.
There is always room for improvement, though. When one covers volunteer efforts over a length of time, one sees the same names and faces time after time. It’s great that those people want to do so much, but there are a limited number of hours in a day, and everybody needs sleep.
So don’t continue to sit on the sidelines and watch others put in the effort. Get involved with whatever activities interest you. You won’t regret it.
— ADAM STEWART