Just Jack: Don’t just accept defeat

It is common practice in business and active organizations that when you have an important or time critical task, assign it to a busy person. While counterintuitive, the reality is that busy people are good time managers. They don’t find time to do things, they make time.

That is an admirable characteristic that, when developed in a larger number of citizens, benefits both the individuals and the community as a whole. Here are a few recent examples.

Early this month, a lot of attention was directed toward end-of-school-year events. From formal graduations to simple passing up to the next grade, school administrators, teachers, and parent volunteers helped to stage the events and make them meaningful for the participants. Without the volunteer effort the events would not have been the same. Some people managed to make time to serve the others in their community.

In Silverdale, a project started by CK High School students came to fruition when the mural on the railroad overpass on Anderson Hill Road was painted. The students, volunteers from the Navy, Rotary Club of Silverdale, and the community at large, guided by two very talented artists and shepherded by “Tex” Lewis, got the job done. It was the volunteer effort of the “flaggers”, painters, and general workers that made the project work, One more time it was people who made time to help out.

In early June, your United Way conducted the interviews that complete the process for allocation of your donated dollars to service programs throughout the county. The interviews were conducted by volunteer United Way Board members and, most frequently, the agencies were represented by volunteers that make those service programs work. The bottom line is that the exceptional service provided to the most needy of the county is being provided by, or supported by, citizens that have decided to make time to serve others.

The county is full of examples that, in far too many cases, we tend to take for granted. The Scout leaders, Sunday school teachers, sport team coaches, library assistants, classroom assistants and all the others like them are volunteers. They have made a very conscious choice to make time to help wherever they can, whenever they can. They add value to every program they assist and to every person they touch through their service. They are no different than anybody else except in their decision to serve.

Perhaps it is time for the rest of us to take a look at our commitment to our communities and to step forward. Check with your pastor to see if there are projects about the church that are being deferred because of no funding that could be completed by volunteers.

Then take charge. Check with the local library to see if they need more help restocking shelves, reading to small children, or just making the library work better. Check with local service organizations like Lions, Kiwanis, Rotary and others to see if they have any projects you could assist with. Check with your school district to see what you can do to make things go smoother for the start of the next school year. Perhaps something as simple as helping to scrub and sanitize every desk and chair in each classroom would work. How about organizing a neighborhood “clean up” squad to pick up all the trash and litter that has accumulated or to pull weeds and cut the grass in that vacant lot on the corner. Better yet, make a little time to contact those who might need help, line up the potential projects and then organize others to assist you in getting the job done.

Over the past few months we have been swamped with “doom and gloom” news. We do not have to accept defeat. We can turn trouble around. If we will all make time to do those things for each other that need to be done, it is our American Spirit of service to others that will see us through and preserve our way of life.

Please make today the first day of your volunteer service to your community.

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