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Volunteering — it’s good for you and your community

Feather Publishing
4/11/2013
 

  Living in small-town America is a choice most of us make for specific reasons.

  We would rather avoid the hustle, bustle and traffic of busy cities. We prefer to greet the people we meet on downtown streets or while out shopping, instead of averting our eyes. We wave and give a friendly smile as we approach people or cars in the country — whether we know them or not.

  And we actually know who our neighbors are and look out for and interact with them on a regular basis.

  Small towns allow residents to really be involved in their local communities. We do it partly out of necessity. Mostly, though, that willingness to give back to the community is one of the main reasons we choose to live where we live.

  National Volunteer Week runs from April 20 to 27. It’s a perfect opportunity to pitch in and help someone.

  There are numerous organizations in each of Plumas County’s local communities that can use a helping hand. Senior centers, hospitals, service organizations, libraries, schools: opportunities abound for volunteers to give back to the community.

  Whether you are young or old, able-bodied or physically challenged, there is something you can do for someone else.

  The countywide Community Connections program is a good place to start if you need help finding a way to volunteer. Call them at 283-3611, ext. *18, or email communityconnections@plumasruralservices.org.

  Friends of animals, libraries, forests, parks, etc. offer varied opportunities for volunteers to give back.

  Can you read out loud to a senior or child? Are you able to pull some weeds and rake leaves? Can you assist in preparing and serving food at a community supper?

  Volunteering does more than help others, though; it also helps the volunteer. Numerous studies show that giving to others increases longevity, as well as physical and mental health, and bestows a sense of well-being and fulfillment upon the giver.

  Communities depend on each other for support and assistance — in good times and bad. It’s just as important to share a success story as to share a tale of woe.

  For those of us separated from families and friends, or who have lost loved ones, volunteering is an opportunity to connect and share with others.

  Whether you pick up the trash on your office floor or sidewalk, or open a door for the next customer, volunteering is easy, helpful and makes you feel good!

  So go ahead and volunteer — we think you’ll be glad you did.


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