By Liz Diess
Florence Area Chamber of Commerce
(Editor’s Note: Viewpoint submissions on this and other topics are always welcome as part of our goal to encourage community discussion and exchange of perspectives.)
This month is Volunteer Appreciation Month. The week of April 17 to 23 is set aside to do this.
I have been studying this subject at great length in my new position at the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce.
I am astounded to learn across the globe, 16 million people volunteer each year. The dollar amount of value this is to this world is $482 million! You can read about it on Points of Light, www.pointsoflight.org.
We want to recognize our volunteers often for all they do for us in our own community too. At the Florence Chamber, we are so blessed to have 16 volunteers to honor and appreciate for all they do.
They staff our Chamber Visitor Center, 290 Highway 101, every day and give us their expertise and knowledge of our beautiful coast to share with the many folks who come to enjoy this wonderful place we call home.
They help with all the events, in one way or another, and they are dependable, honest, friendly, kind and dedicated to this town we call home.
Volunteering has surprising benefits to you!
It connects you with others, it’s good for your mind and body, it can advance your career, or college advancement, it brings fun and fulfillment to life. Just find out where you want to help. Is it working with kids? Do you prefer working alone? What skills can you bring? What causes are important to you?
Look online for your volunteer match, go to volunteer.gov — or stay local! We have many wonderful places to Volunteer right here at home. We have the Florence Senior Center, the chamber of course, church programs and the humane society, too!
Not to mention the library, community theater, museums, schools and local hospital. I’m sure there are more!
When you volunteer, you make a difference in your town or area. We are very blessed in Florence to have so many fine people who volunteer in so many places important to us all.
I’m giving a thank you to Deborah, Mike, Don, Jack, Jean, Bev, Charles, Mary, Ron, Penny, Annie, Suzy, Fred, Nici and Jane, our wonderful, dedicated volunteers at the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce.