Friday, June 6, 2014

Jump in!

I spent Thursday afternoon at our school's Volunteer Appreciation Tea.  I can say this is one of the perks of being the PTA president, and it was the best thing I've done all year. It was an incredible feeling to be with the people who give so freely of their time and energy to make our little community a better place.  Our school volunteered around 25,000 hours this year, and the bulk of that is done by a core group of dedicated people who swoop in, do the work, and then disappear before the general population knows they've been there. It's like magic.

We (the event organizer and I, who I was so grateful for for organizing the event and the awards) handed out awards, ate, laughed, and enjoyed the sun; it reminded me though, that we all have something we can give the world.  For me, it's often time and energy, and a great deal of behind the scenes research and support (which is what I prefer to do). For another volunteer, it's her sweet personality and love of planning events. For another, it's her database skills. another family pulls out all the stops and puts on Track & Field Day each year.  Some people, help in the library, some are willing to roll up their sleeves and do the dirty work of cleaning out sheds or picking up trash. One dad donated his days off to help organize activities at lunch time, which helps the kids get along and stay active.

By giving a bit of themselves to our community, we grow stronger. Relationships are formed. Information gets shared. Connections are made, and work gets done when we all pitch in a little.  Wherever you are in the world, I think we can all do a little bit to make things better, and the quickest way to become part of a community is to volunteer.  So, if you are someplace new, or entering a new stage of life, think about volunteering a little of your time. Not only does it give something that your community needs, it's a great way to become part of something bigger than yourself.

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