Funland Playground

Tom Bratton, a volunteer with the Hermiston Kiwanis Club, cleans a large pepper on May 27, 2021, during a work party at the newly renovated Funland Playground in Hermiston.

A community functions and succeeds through several different agencies, institutions and, most of all people.

Yet, one factor that often gets overlooked is the importance of volunteers.

Volunteers are probably one of the most important — and unsung — pieces to community success and we would urge anyone who is interested in giving back to step up and help.

It isn’t as easy as it sounds, we get that. We are all busy. We all have bills to pay and work and other obligations that crowd into our lives on a regularly — ready daily and hourly — basis. Pondering a decision to complicate our already busy schedules can be difficult and often leads to an individual bowing out of volunteering.

We’d hope, though, that potential volunteers will look at the other side of the coin. Volunteering to help a local agency or nonprofit delivers its own set of rewards. You get to be part of something and make a difference.

The allure of making a difference is a strong one and we are glad of that. People seek affirmations in life from any number of different avenues but the knowledge they can make a difference, no matter how seemingly small, is a strong motivator.

Volunteers already do lots of work throughout the community that you and I, though, hardly notice. Big events to small venues function and succeed because of people who are behind the scenes, often volunteers, chose to give their time to help.

Every community needs a strong group of people who want to help. There is, of course, usually no monetary compensation if you volunteer, but that isn’t the point. Or shouldn’t be. The point is to give back to the community, to find a way to enhance other’s lives and to help a town or city thrive in a unique way.

There are plenty of places where a person can help, and we need them. When a community can count on a solid corps of volunteers to step up it benefits everyone.

So, if you are looking for something to do, or a way to make a difference, find a way to volunteer. In the long run you won’t be disappointed, and our community will be better for it.

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