Letter: Passing on tradition of service

To the Editor:

I'm the president of the NorShaft Lions Club. At 35 years old, I'm the second to youngest member. Our group is very lucky to be a thriving group of 78 members. Many other Lions Clubs, as well as other service organizations that really peaked through the Baby Boomers' thriving years, are not as lucky. Many life-long members are aging and are ready to pass on the baton. People may feel to need to wait until they're empty nesters, or retired, to join a service group - under the presumption that they won't have enough free time to dedicate to an organization.

I'm here to dispel that myth. When you volunteer for an organization, it's based on your availability. There is no wrong answer. Even if that is an hour a month, most clubs are willing to work with you. Every bit of effort counts and builds up to get a lot done. If you have small children and need to bring them with you, most clubs are willing to work with you so that your child is included and you're both at ease.

I'm here to encourage you to take stock in your community, to tell you that every little bit of effort has a ripple effect that enhances your community and makes it a better place to live. Service organizations help support people who are financially in need, medically in need, students, veterans, the list goes on and on. Most of us will find ourselves needing help from an organization or nonprofit at some point in our lives. The help is available, and we have to make sure it stays available for years to come.

Service groups also usually put on great events that make your town a good place to live. Most events in our area are put together by non-profits and clubs. Taking the time to volunteer shows younger people that they can make a difference starting from the ground up. It shows that a community can support each other - through struggles and also enhance the community thru great events and services.

Take stock in where you live. It's a big part of your life. If you don't like the way things are - there are so many ways that you can make a difference. So many organizations that do good. Doing good feels good, promotes a better sense of community, shows young people that there is value in every action and everyone and to have pride in their lives and where they live. You'll also be surrounding yourself with other people who are invested in making a difference.

There's no shame in needing help, and there's also no shame in helping.

Carrie Houlihan



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