How do you measure the value of a volunteer?
There are organizations each year that try to put a price on the value of the average volunteer. The Independent Sector currently values volunteer time at $22.55 an hour. But those of us who work with volunteers know that there really is no price when it comes to their true value. Organizations like ours, Keep Liberty Beautiful, know that volunteers are pure gold. Essentially, without volunteers, KLB is nothing.
The best part of my job is getting to know people in Liberty County who love this community and don’t mind working to make it the best it can be. Nothing makes me happier after an event than when a volunteer says, “I really enjoyed that. What else can I help do?” I know when I hear that, the person will be a “lifer” — a volunteer for life.
Great volunteers come in all shapes, sizes and ages. That variety of involvement makes for a great program, I think. They all have their own interests and reasons for volunteering with our program, so we do our best to match them with what they want to do.
This year, about 3,000 people have volunteered their time to clean up and recycle in our community. These kinds of things don’t just happen. It takes people power to make a difference.
These volunteers have helped us to accomplish our missions and goals for KLB, such as:
• to prevent and eradicate litter to protect our environment and waterways as well as wildlife;
• to reduce waste and promote recycling and re-use so that resources are conserved and waste accumulating in landfills is reduced; and
• to promote community improvement and beautification.
Keeping Liberty beautiful is a group effort. It takes all of us being involved and active to make this happen. Here are some of the things they have been doing this year:
• planting hundreds of trees for Arbor Day,
• cleaning up hundreds of miles of roadways and green spaces,
• adopting special areas for cleanups,
• recycling items like paper, plastics, aluminum, steel cans, glass, newspaper and magazines
• making recycling a way of life for young and older citizens,
• hosting quarterly recycling collections for electronics and household-waste items to keep toxins out of landfills,
• collecting phone books to recycle,
• holding special cleanups to protect the quality of our local waters for Rivers Alive,
• cleaning up the beach at St. Catherines Island
• hosting educational events and presentations in area schools and communities,
• hosting an educational event celebrating Earth Day,
• recycling Christmas trees for mulch,
• developing educational materials and activities to make taking care of our resources fun and memorable,
• working on beautification projects to make our neighborhoods neat and our public spaces attractive
• recognizing attractive businesses worthy of recognition,
• and promoting and recognizing homes and yards that represent our community so well.
We want to say thank you to these volunteers. As our small way of doing that, we invite you to an appreciation event in coordination with the May Business After Hours. We sponsor this event with the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce and our 2014 partner, South Georgia Bank, because so many of our volunteers are members of the business community. All of our volunteers are invited to join us for a casual evening of food, fun and fellowship from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, May 29, at the South Georgia Bank office on the corner of Veterans Parkway and South Main Street in Hinesville.
To register, call us at 880-4888 or the chamber at 368-4445. If you are a possible volunteer and want to find out more about KLB, call us, too. This event is a great way to learn more about our volunteer opportunities. These individuals, businesses, civic groups, churches and organizations are the essence of KLB.
Although this is a county program, the actual engine that makes a program like KLB perform is the community itself. Thanks again to each of you priceless volunteers — you are more precious than gold!
How about you? Are you ready to make a difference where you live? Call KLB at 880-4888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how to get involved.