"I have seen and met angels wearing the disguise of ordinary people living ordinary lives." — Tracy Chapman
This year’s theme at Keep Liberty Beautiful has been that volunteers are superheroes. They certainly are that for us.
They have helped us accomplish goals to make a difference in our community, fighting nasty litter with cleanups and educational efforts, planting gardens and beautification areas throughout our community, and promoting recycling and waste reduction to reduce the trash going to landfills.
I am a program of one with wonderful young part-time workers who come in and out of my life and this program as they attempt to go to school or find a job to start their careers. Without volunteers, Keep Liberty Beautiful would be an empty bucket of words.
So volunteers are certainly superheroes to us. But even more than that, I certainly suspect that many of them are angels in disguise. They work their magic on the world. I am fortunate that each year I interact with more than 4,000 of them.
As we’ve planned our annual volunteer appreciation for May 26, I realized others have expressed their appreciation much better than I ever could, so I am going to use some of their quotes:
"People may forget what you say, and people may forget even what you do, but they never forget how you make them feel." — Anonymous
Volunteers certainly have been such a positive experience for me, and I sincerely hope that their efforts with us have been positive experiences for them.
"Those who can, do. Those who can do more, volunteer." — Anonymous
Over the years, I have many people tell me why they cannot volunteer. The funny thing is that I seldom even ask people about volunteering in person. I do not have to because our volunteers and their good works just spread the word. Too often, people come up to me and start sharing why, "although I would love to volunteer, I can’t because" a variety of reasons.
I do understand. People have busy — even exhausting — lives. But the interesting thing about volunteers is they have those same issues
One of the things non-volunteers confess is that they have children and they have no time to volunteer. But as "anonymous" shares again:
"Children are great imitators, so give them something great to imitate."
What better example can you give your kids than the power of volunteering? I never forgot the importance of giving back because of my mother’s example.
Another common confession is the lack of time.
"Volunteers do not necessarily have the time, they have the heart to volunteers" — Elizabeth Andrew
Our best volunteers are the busiest people in town. They certainly have the heart to volunteer.
Another confession is the need to work.
"We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give." — Winston Churchill
The Volunteer Appreciation will be from 5-7 p.m. May 26 at La Quinta Inn on East Oglethorpe Highway with our Business After Hours partner, Navy Federal Credit Union and, of course, the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce. The event is a time for us to say thank you to our volunteers.
If you would like to attend, call Keep Liberty Beautiful at 880 4888 or email keeplib firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday to register. Be sure to find us on Facebook or go to our website www.keeplibertybeautiful.org.
"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." — Anne Frank
Swida is the director of Keep Liberty Beautiful.