Volunteerism A Way Of Life

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By Joe Foreman, Editor

The latest numbers released by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) only validates something we already knew - Iowans like to volunteer their time and give back to their local communities.


According to the CNCS’ Volunteering in America report, Iowans rank No. 2 in the nation when it comes to volunteering their time. Approximately 39 percent of Iowans did something in 2009 to help others.


Iowans devoted more than 109 million hours to volunteering in 2009. That number is up 28 million hours compared to 2007, resulting in an increase of more than $560 million in services provided across the state.


Iowa’s volunteerism numbers haven’t gone unnoticed by Gov. Chet Culver.


“These numbers are a representation of the character of Iowans, and I am proud that our residents are committed to serving their neighbors and communities,” Culver said recently.


I don’t know about you, but I’m not surprised at all by Iowa’s impressive volunteerism numbers. I see volunteers making a difference every day in Mills County.


Stop by one of our local senior centers, libraries or baseball fields and you’ll see volunteers at work - serving meals, reading to children or serving as mentors to our youth.


When you go to a social function at your church, look around and count up all of the people who are volunteering their time - setting up tables, serving food or sweeping the floor.


Been to a show at the Davies Amphitheater this year? Those people at the admission table are volunteers.


Paid a visit to the Mills County Historical Museum or the Indian Creek Museum? The people working at those facilities are all volunteers.


Did you give blood at one of the American Red Cross blood drives in Glenwood this month? If you did, you saw volunteers at work performing a variety of tasks.


How many volunteers stepped up for the American Cancer Society’s Relay of Life in Mills County this year? How many parents volunteered their time so that our high schoolers could have safe and enjoyable prom dances and after-prom events?


Ever been to one of the community celebrations in Pacific Junction, Malvern, Silver City, Emerson, Mineola, Hastings, Hender-son or Tabor. Those celebrations don’t happen without volunteers - lots of them.


Take a look at all the great work volunteers from our local service clubs do. In Glenwood alone, we have Rotary, Lions, Optimist and Kiwanis clubs all making valuable contributions.


My list could go on and on, but I think you get my point. We Iowans like to give back to our communities.


In Iowa, volunteerism is a way of life.