Archive for Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Opinion: Hats off to volunteers

April 24, 2007

If you look at it that way, this message is a week late. Last week was National Volunteer Week, but it's never too late to thank our community's volunteers for the many services they provide.

We've said it before, but we still believe the best way to demonstrate the importance of volunteers is to indulge in a little negative thinking.

Think how our lives would be with no volunteers. Imagine that some supernatural force somehow plucked from our midst all those unpaid people whose caring and sacrifice enrich our lives, leaving us with:

  • No Boy Scout or Girl Scout leaders;
  • No volunteer firefighters;
  • No church school teachers ;
  • No Meals on Wheels delivery persons;
  • No one to pick up the trash along our highways;
  • No PTA, no room mothers -- and, probably, not any cookies, either .

This list just barely scratches the surface, but you surely get the point. The truth is, we still rely on our neighbors to help us with a lot of the jobs that need to be done to keep the wheels of government moving, to fill in for the services that government doesn't provide, or just to maintain a reasonable quality of life.

America was founded on the volunteer spirit. In colonial times and on the frontier, as well as in our own time, volunteers have always answered the call. In bygone years, that may have consisted of picking up a musket to repel an attack, picking up an adze to craft a neighbor's barn, or picking up a needle and thread to sew for a needy family; today's volunteers are serving needs that are, although in some cases less urgent, certainly every bit as worthwhile.

Even if we are a bit late, we're happy to add our thanks for so many jobs so well done.

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