Out and About – Week of June 26th

Where are all the volunteers? Most fun events are made possible by using volunteers. The same can be said for assistance in a disaster. Without volunteers, a lot of things would never get done. A perfect example would be the recent Three Rivers Water Festival. Without the many volunteers, Water Festival would never have happened. Without volunteers, the local food bank would not be operational.
The area around Three Rivers has many volunteers. The only problem is that it’s always the same people volunteering. There are too many out there who would rather complain about things than step forward to volunteer and be a part of the solution.
Volunteering can be a lot of fun. You’d be surprised how much fun can be had by working together for a common cause. There is no monetary reward when it comes to volunteering. The only reward is the feeling one gets after doing something special for someone else. That feeling can only be felt by doing that task.
I don’t care what organization you’re a part of, each group has something in common. It’s always the same people stepping forward and doing the work. Everyone else seems to be too busy or just not interested. These non-interested or too busy individuals are usually the best complainers when something doesn’t succeed.
Do you belong to a civic organization? Are you a member of a church? Have you ever been a member of a municipal committee? If so, have you ever served in a leadership position, or have you left that up to someone else? When was the last time you donated your time or some household goods to someone in need? Did you do anything to promote the recent Water Festival, or were you among those individuals who contributed to the litter in the park?
You don’t have to belong to any group to be a volunteer. All you need to do is show some interest in your community. The next time you’re Out and About walking with your family, jogging, or just walking the family dog, and you see a piece of litter on the ground, take a moment and pick it up. I’m sure you’ll find a trash receptacle nearby in which you may make a deposit. Don’t worry about taking a job away from a city employee, because there’s plenty out there for them to do already.
This next year, I’ll be participating in a role-reversal. Seven years ago, I served as District Governor for Lions International. My wife accompanied me that year as I visited around fifty Lions clubs in our district. This required a lot of time and effort on her part, but she enjoyed the opportunity to get out and meet the many Lions in the clubs. She enjoyed it so much that she decided to follow my lead and put forth the extra effort and move up the Leadership Ladder. This July she will be installed as District Governor for the five-county area in southwestern Michigan. She’ll do a fantastic job, I’m sure, because she has prepared herself the best she knows how. My job might be more of a challenge, because now I will be the “Spouse” of the District Governor. I will have to keep my mouth shut, as she does her job so well. At least my wardrobe will be much simpler. I’ll get used to being referred to as “HOG” (Husband of Governor).
I didn’t intend to come across as strong as I did in this column, but as a volunteer myself, I feel strongly about the act of volunteering, and I respect those who give up their time to help others, or to work together with others for the common good. I have a button around somewhere that says, “Don’t yell at me, I’m a volunteer”. To all you volunteers out there, I thank you for all you do.
Babies are born without kneecaps. They don’t appear until the child reaches 2 to 6 years of age.
See you Out and About!

Submitted by Norm Stutesman

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