Loose Ends: Volunteer

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There is one thing a community can never have in excess: volunteers. Warm weather brings out an annual call for helpers all through the town and some organizations are needier than others. The success of the traditional events of summer and fall, Range Call and the Sheepdog Classic, depend upon dedicated folks who give their time and efforts freely. An advertisement in last week’s paper called for volunteers for the upcoming summer extravaganza and though it doesn’t specify, it needs individuals to help in most every aspect of the event.
If the excuse for not pitching in to help is that one is too busy, who isn’t? If it seems that a volunteer has to not only give of her time and energy, but have specialized skills, a closer look needs to be taken. What is it that makes a good volunteer? The willingness to make a time commitment is the most important quality.
Is it not important to have some skills that make one a more valuable helper? Every event needs to call on those individuals who can share their special expertise and knowledge. Yet, the quantity of helpers is the issue at this point in time, unfortunately. Those yearly events that count on one’s short term assistance can only stay viable if enough individuals who are willing to make a time commitment.
Individuals who volunteer throughout the community do have one thing in common with each other. They have good time management skills. Talk to any of them and it soon is apparent that all of them are as busy as the rest of us. None of them say things like, “I just can’t find the time,” or “I will, when things slow down a little. Somehow they manage to juggle their schedules to fit in the time to help others.
The size of this community limits the size of the volunteer pool and all of us have friends or family members who spread themselves too thin to continue the schedule for too long. Volunteer burn-out is a serious problem. It is up to all of us to look closer at our schedules and see if we can fit in something else. Go ahead …volunteer!