Hundreds and hundreds
The Bell Tower Festival this week raises an interesting question in my mind: How many residents of Greene County do you suppose serve as volunteers in some organization or other?
A few examples:
4-H clubs, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, Brownies, Greene County Early Learning Center
Town and country, for boys and girls, kids from infancy to high school graduates — organizations and entities that exist solely to serve youngsters, to entertain, educate and instill in them the values of our society.
Greene County Fair Board, Greene County Cattlemen, Greene County Pork Producers, Greene County Lamb Producers, Greene County Farm Bureau
Agriculture is the county’s single largest economic sector, and it takes many, many volunteer hours to enrich it with worthwhile organizations, some of them year-round commitments. Most of the groups have boards and officers that serve both their membership and the county at large.
Churches, Greene County ARC, Habitat for Humanity, Adopt-A-Family
Faith-based organizations, including some two dozen church congregations and their many affiliated projects, survive and thrive because of the devotion of their parishioners who unselfishly volunteer their time, and their resources of all kinds, in keeping with the teachings of their Creator. The lives of all Greene County are much richer because believers “do unto others.”
Thomas Jefferson Gardens, Grand Junction Community Center, Wild Rose Jefferson, Sierra Theatre, Jefferson Garden Club, Mahanay Memorial Carillon Tower hosts and guides, Greene County Historical Society, Greene County Genealogical Society
Specific local projects depend heavily on volunteers to create and staff them. Greene County for decades has been blessed with those people, and recent projects have had them in spades.
Service clubs, fraternal organizations, Aktion Club, library boards, firemen, park and recreation program operatives
This county would be a very drab place without the hundreds of folks who give freely of their time and talents to carry out the many worthwhile projects chosen by their membership organizations.
Little League, Jefferson Swim Team, school booster clubs, youth soccer, youth football
Hundreds of youngsters throughout the county get invaluable help from adults, parents and otherwise, who teach them both the specifics of a number of team sports, and the lessons that those sports offer about teamwork, perseverance, and the importance of dedicated practice.
Greene County Medical Center Auxiliary, Greene County Medical Center Capital Campaign, Greene County Medical Center Foundation, American Cancer Society, Greene County Medical Center board of trustees
Greene County is well served by dozens of volunteers who help health care professionals work their magic for those in need of assistance in times of emergency, illness and end-of-life situations.
Political parties, campaign volunteers
The American way of government, alive and well in Greene County, depends for its success on those who organize election campaigns, raise funds, go door-to-door for candidates, and do all the tasks, some of them wearisome and drudge-like, that help select our democratically elected officials.
Greene County Chamber of Commerce, Greene County Development Corporation, Midwest Partnership, Jefferson Matters: Main Street, Greene County Community Foundation
Community and economic development would go nowhere without the many local residents who are dedicated to the betterment of their communities and the entire county. More and more people are coming to think county-wide and even region-wide instead of just their own particular municipality.
The dozens of organizations and activities I’ve unwittingly left out of this brief listing.
To try to name every volunteer activity in Greene County would require many more columns than would be appropriate for this writing.
My apologies to those I’ve omitted — it’s not intentional, and the many calls I may get because of those omissions are simply an indication of how pervasive volunteerism is around here.
Without those willing to donate their time and other resources for the benefit of their neighbors, this place would be much the poorer.
Thanks to you all.