Opinion & Editorial

An appeal to volunteers

Dear readers:

Those who have followed my writings in the past will remember I have written  tributes to relatives and work associates who have gone before us.

In writing these articles or tributes, I am making an effort to point out to the readers the importance of volunteerism in our community.

The pandemic has affected volunteerism and local events to a great extent over the past two-plus years. I make an effort to reach out to those folks who may have an hour or two a week to volunteer at organizations such as Senior Center, the school district, hospital auxiliary, or the humane society.

These organizations exist only with volunteer and financial donations for the necessary buildings, phones and other critical items. 

We must stop and realize that a huge percentage of firefighters across the United States are volunteer fire departments, from small communities that can afford only a fire truck or two and in some cases, a paid fire chief.

The firefighters are made up of our friends and neighbors: the machinist down the street, the druggist at the counter, or a store clerk. This is what has made America the land of abundance.  Its own citizens who give of their time to build a better community.

It is important to note that South Lane County Fire and Rescue – there are 35-40 volunteers as backup to the paid firefighters and paramedics. These volunteers not only volunteer to go on a run but they must be well-trained. This takes time out of their life.

If we look at a few of the local activities that we all enjoy – the 4th of July parade in Creswell and the pancake breakfast in Holt Park for instance – are made up of volunteers for a Chamber-sponsored event. The Chamber and volunteers put on a tremendous parade once a year. 

The Grand Miners Parade in Cottage Grove is also an all-volunteer event. Jennifer Crosby has been the parade coordinator the past two years.  Western Oregon Exposition, our country fair, is another example of volunteer boards that organize and raise money and recruit volunteers to run the organization.

There are many organizations that need a telephone receptionist, just someone to take notes and phone calls. As I mentioned, the pandemic has cut into volunteerism and donations to organizations.

I reach out to you, the reader:  if you have a little spare time look around to an organization, and make new friends through volunteerism.

Don Williams is a longtime resident and community leader. He lives in Cottage Grove.



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