Yes…I’m on my soapbox again!
A group of us met last night to plan the upcoming BBQ fund raiser that follows the annual Rodeo Parade on Saturday, August the 8th. There are usually six to ten of us at such meetings. There are another dozen or so who will actually work at the event. And there are at least a dozen “behind the scenes” people who help with cooking. I’ve always been told that ten percent of any given group does all the work and the rest enjoy it. Still, a group of thirty+ people does not even represent the standard “ten percent” of our population of 950. I’d be thrilled if we ever had ten percent working!!
I’m not worried about the BBQ. It’s an annual event that always turns out well. The people who do work for it do their work exceedingly well. We eat a great meal, do some quality visiting, enjoy good music, have a silent auction, and raise money for community projects.
What does worry me is the future. Heritage Day is coming up. Then the annual children’s Christmas party. There are things around town that need attention. There are good projects and ideas that can’t be started for lack of workers. I’d love to landscape the old community building, but we simply can’t take on another flower project without people to weed and water. It would be great to finish and paint the inside of the Boland Park building. It would be wonderful to have a covered eating area just outside the building. We need to paint the welcome arch. We need another arch at the other end of town. The cemetery needs more trees…
I’ve been told by two other civic groups that their numbers are dwindling. Older members, who have worked so diligently for so many years, are simply getting too old to do the same work as before. Younger residents are too involved with their families and school events to devote much time to community service, especially if meetings are required. Many fine people in our town are dedicated to church work, and rightfully so, but with little extra time for other things.
Those of us who are trying to keep things going get discouraged, but we feel compelled to continue. We truly enjoy what we do. We like to make things better for our community. We want our friends and families to live in a good place. But the reality is that we won’t live forever. A few good people need to step forward and begin training for the future. Every group in town needs new members to begin now as apprentices. I can speak for my own group and tell you that we will welcome you with open arms. We won’t expect you to attend each meeting or work on every project. We just want you to be willing to help when you can and do what you can. We just want to know that you will be prepared to take our place sometime in the future.
If you have ever considered community service I have a suggestion for you. Sit down and give serious thought to what you can do, and how many hours you are willing to spend doing it. You might feel that you can volunteer once a month or once a year. There may a project or event that interests you. You may have expertise in one or more areas. Can you cook? Can you sit at a booth and collect money? Can you weed a flower bed? Can you type a letter? Can you dig a hole and plant a tree? Can you sew a curtain or paint a wall? Can you mail publicity flyers or make phone calls? Can you organize a children’s game? Can you sell tickets? Jot down your plan and then call someone you know who is a member of a community organization. Explain your abilities and how many hours you can give them. I can almost guarantee they will be thrilled to add you to a list or pass your name on to a committee chairman and you will be called to work when needed.
Call someone today and let them know that you have skills and you can work!