Psst, did you know that this is National Volunteer Week?|
Perhaps it slipped your mind as you found yourself up to your elbows in sand while filling bags to protect a friend, relative or stranger's property. Or maybe you were a volunteer firefighter busily evacuating residents in the path of a threatened levy. Perhaps you're still knee deep in muck, wielding scrub brushes and bleach-soaked towels, cleaning up after receding flood waters.
Or maybe you've spent your "leisure" time this week sitting with a hospice patient, spelling a home caregiver, working on a Habitat House, coaching a girl's softball or Little League team, leading a Girl Scout troop, or fundraising for United Way. Or any of a host of other duties volunteers perform each day to make the Quad-Cities such a wonderful place to live.
Though America remains a society of capitalists and entrepreneurs, thank goodness we're also a nation of caring friends and neighbors who take pride in our communities and an active interest in bettering the lives of others.
It is to celebrate the contributions of civic leaders like our Quad-Cities neighbors busily providing flood relief this week that National Volunteer Week was established in 1974. Despite leading busier and busier lives, we're happy to note that our active corps of volunteers has not shrunk.
According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, some 64 million Americans volunteer nearly 8 billion hours each year in services valued at $171 billion. And those are just the folks who are counted by organizations. They don't include, for example, many of the Quad-Citians who simply jumped in and rolled up their sleeves to battle recent flood waters.
Also in Viewpoints today, Betsy Pratt, regional chief executive officer of the American Red Cross, celebrates the contributions of Red Cross volunteers in this week's floods and throughout the year. We join her in offering our heartfelt thanks to those who rushed to the aid of their neighbors this last week and all year long.
Albert Schweitzer said, "Wherever a man turns he can find someone who needs him." Hats off to all the scores of Q-C volunteers who do not turn away from that need and instead strive to fill it however they can.
Erie, IL Details
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