This week we are celebrating volunteers at Keep Liberty Beautiful and we have a lot to celebrate! Our annual volunteer celebration will be on Thursday.
Volunteers are the essence of programs like Keep Liberty Beautiful. We are delighted to give them the recognition they deserve. Our volunteers and community partners are invited to join us for a drop-in celebration from 5 to 7 p.m. on the 25th at the La Quinta Inn and Suites. It is a time of fun and fellowship to thank our volunteers over the last fiscal year for their work for our community.
Volunteers are unique. The dictionary defines a volunteer as "a person who donates his time or efforts for a cause or organization without being paid," which is true. But there is so much more to volunteers than whether they are paid for what they do. They create change — positive changes — for our community. Volunteers believe their actions can make a difference. Volunteers are also more about action than talk. You don’t find too many whiners in groups of volunteers. That is refreshing.
By the end of June, an estimated 4,000 volunteers will have pitched in to plant gardens and trees, create events for recycling, help folks in our schools and in our community learn about ways to make our environment healthier, and to join in the never-ending fight against litter. About 200 schools, churches, organizations, youth programs, municipalities and businesses have worked together to make our little corner of the world a cleaner and brighter place.
Now, I am one of those folks who has loved every job I ever had, even in high school working at Woolworths, but I truly hit the jackpot with this program.
Keep Liberty Beautiful is all about volunteers. They are the heart of what we do and I am the lucky one who gets to work with these incredibly giving folks.
Here’s a secret: As a staff person, I am just what friends used to call me — the Pied Piper. The hero of a German folk legend, popularized in The Pied Piper of Hamelin (1842) by Robert Browning, enticed people, children and, at one point, rats to follow him. First, let me make it clear that I steer clear of rats. The Pied Piper used a musical pipe to get people to join him. At Keep Liberty Beautiful, we use community education and opportunity. Volunteers do the rest.
Don’t think you don’t have time to volunteer. Our volunteers are some of the busiest people in our community. Time is not the factor that motivates these folks. To quote another one of those people who come up with memorable things to say, "Volunteers don’t necessarily have the time. They have the heart."
KLB volunteers, like all volunteers, make the time to make a difference because they have the heart for it.
If you volunteered this year, I hope you will be able to drop by. Just call us at 912-880-4888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are a volunteer wannabe and want to find out more about Keep Liberty Beautiful, give us a call, too. This event is a great way to learn more about opportunities and the wonderful people who make things happen.
Community education without action is just learning. The engine that makes a program like KLB perform is the community itself. Thanks again to each of you ‘priceless’ volunteers.
Swida is director of Keep Liberty Beautiful.