Focus Carlsbad Summer 2021 | Volunteerism is the New Patriotism

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As we recognize American independence this year consider a new form of patriotism.

Several organizations in the community need your help. Not just monetary donations which are always welcome, but they also need you. They need your time, your hands, your enthusiasm, and your ideas.

No matter what your interests, there is a volunteer opportunity out there for you. Interested in helping feed the hungry? Contact the United Way to participate in their monthly food donation drive thru. If trash bothers you, sign up for RiverBlitz — our annual areawide clean-up event. Interested in making a difference in a child’s life? Contact the Eddy County Court Appointed Special Advocate program. Love the outdoors? There may be an opportunity to assist with our National Parks or even our local search and rescue organizations. Interested in art? There might be room for you at the museum. Or perhaps there’s room for you on a volunteer fire service team where you would literally be helping save lives.

Several organizations also need board members to help serve and make decisions that benefit our community. Yet another way to get involved is to join the local Rotary or Lions organizations. These clubs provide fellowship and the opportunity to volunteer as a group.

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Did you know that volunteering is not a new idea? It actually goes back to the founding of our great nation. Benjamin Franklin is often credited with the idea of a volunteer firehouse as far back as 1736. Possibly one of the finest examples of volunteerism was during WWII when Americans came together to collect supplies, care for injured soldiers, and entertain soldiers while they were on leave.

Barbara Stewart, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, perhaps said it best, “The fabric of our nation is strengthened by the service of its volunteers. When we stand side-by-side to help others, our differences fade away and we learn that Americans have more in common than we realize.”

So, this 4th of July, as you watch the fireworks and celebrate our freedom, take a minute to see how you can give back and make a difference right here at home. There are more than 1.8 million active nonprofits in the United States alone, several of whom are represented locally. The best way to start is to think about your interests and reach out to an organization that you think would benefit from your participation. Call or email them and see how you can get started today.

As cliché as it sounds: together we can make a difference. As Helen Keller put it, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

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Article written by Khushroo Ghadiali and originally published in Focus on Carlsbad 2021 Summer edition.

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