To the editor:
At the end of national volunteer month, I say THANK YOU to the hundreds, or probably thousands, of volunteers in Louisa County. People choose to volunteer for a variety of reasons. For some, it offers the chance to give something back to the community or make a difference to the people around them. For others it provides an opportunity to develop new skills or build on existing experience and knowledge. Studies show there are also health benefits, especially for those age 60 and over, including improved physical and mental health and greater life satisfaction.
We often think about local fire and rescue volunteers and church groups assisting with everything from caregiving to rides to the doctor to providing firewood for a family. There are also individuals who help in the schools, with animal care and those who raise money to support local nonprofits organizations. We are fortunate that Louisa County has over 40 nonprofits that rely on volunteers. They contribute over $1 million in services on an annual basis, and that does not include all the efforts of local churches and fire and rescue squads.
I am especially grateful for the dedicated, all-volunteer board members of Louisa Community Emergency Fund, Inc., including Joy Dickens, Susan Bradford, Susan Utt, Joyce Osburn, Larry Lewis, Lola Richardson, Crysti Hopkins, Annie Holland, Mary Ann Ptasznik, and Tom Ronksley, as well as our MACAA partners MacKenzie Wolfe and Eunice Baskfield. They are volunteer heroes who do so much in our community to help others – ordinary people doing extraordinary things!
One of my favorite quotes, from Elizabeth Andrew, is that “Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.” Our country and county are fortunate to have those with the heart to serve others. If you already volunteer, thank you. If not, consider a way that you might get involved, and encourage your children to do their part. Small acts of kindness go a long way!