by Jaye Sudar
People are the lifeblood of a community. Some believe that people are a runaway renewable resource. However, there is a subspecies of human that is rare, Homo volunteerus. Without this subspecies, imagine how much work in the community would go undone. If you need a fast reminder, think of the community garden by the community center.
In small communities, schools, churches, and even businesses look to the community for volunteer assistance. Unfortunately, it is often the same 200 people doing the work. Why? Yes, the volunteers feel good about helping out, but kudos for a job well done are few and far between. Volunteers are a resource that many squander and few reward.
For example, look at the Friends of the Library (FOL). Sunday was the FOL′s Staff Appreciation dinner. While there are lots of members in the FOL, there are only three active board members who help run the annual book sale, a volunteer appreciation lunch and yesterday′s dinner. Consider this: it is the efforts of the FOL that have helped build our new library. They raised funds for new books, computers, and chairs.
Another volunteer group that goes quietly about its business are the P.A.L′s. Those are the parents and grandparents who volunteer to read with students in school and help them learn to read.
Volunteers for Change is another group which has done their best to step into communities and lend a hand. Saturdays saw them recycling cardboard in Colorado City. Other days they pick up trash on three different sections of highway they have sponsored. They have also helped in numerous other projects in three separate counties.
What′s the point of all of this? Simple. Get out and volunteer. Unless members of a community are willing to step forward and give a hand, Homo volunteerus may go the way of the dinosaurs. If you haven′t a clue where to start, try your local church, school or library.
It isn′t just individuals who can volunteer. LoboSavvy Technologies is volunteering to teach basic computer courses at the library for anyone who wants to attend. Sign up at the library for the first class on October 27 at 6 pm. This class is made possible by the non-profit group Tech for All, which donated the computers. Stop by the library and sign up for a class!