It’s often said money makes the world go ‘round, but that’s not entirely true. What keeps it spinning is the selfless leadership and service of legions of folks who never get paid a dime — volunteers.
As I look back on a half-century of community journalism, I find the folks I remember best are those who gave of themselves, not necessarily tirelessly but almost always unconditionally. Were it not for volunteers, much of what we enjoy in life would grind to a halt — entertainments like the county fair, Christmas parades, youth sports, community picnics and much more. No one pays the folks who plan and produce these events or clean out the livestock barns, for example. Neither do they ask to be paid. That’s not why they volunteer. It’s for the kids, for other folks and pride in community. It’s because that’s who we are.
Consider school board members, Sunday school teachers, PTA leaders, Extension Council directors, civic club members and so many others we take for granted. They’re all volunteers, too.
In this rural environment it’s volunteers we count on to fight our fires and assist officers and EMTs at crash scenes. It’s volunteers who help feed more than 300 families every month through Calvary Chapel’s Neighbors in Need program, and that is just one extension of the Ozarks Food Harvest outreach.
No matter who you are, you need not look far to put names on the volunteers in you life — folks who ask nothing in return, not even recognition, because it’s the right thing to do.
They are the true strength of ours and all Ozarks communities. They are what truly makes the world go ‘round.
Copyright 2023, James E. Hamilton; email firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more of his works in Ozarks RFD 2010-2015, available online from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or from the author.
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