By Charlene Hoeflich

January 19, 2014

POMEROY – We weren’t born into this world to do everything, but to do something for the benefit of others and that’s where volunteering comes in.

Volunteering to help out on a project or to assist someone can be considered a benevolent or altruistic act by an individual — one intended to promote good in some way in the community and/or to improve the quality of someone’s life .

At the same time volunteering can be beneficial to the participant because it produces a feeling of self-worth and satisfaction for the one doing it.

Helping others is its own reward and it shouldn’t feel like a chore. Or as one volunteer put it, “it’s just like paying a little something for the space you occupy and enjoying it.”

Just ask those who spend hours and hours working on a project, or operating a program of assistance to others, or lending a helping hand to some unfortunate soul, or working on a community project which in the end will benefit hundreds.

Meigs County, like many communities, is full of people ready and willing to give of their time and talent to help others, to assist with programs which benefit the disadvantaged or their community in some way.

Just ask someone like John Bentley of Syracuse, one of many volunteers at the Syracuse Community Center where the next improvement project is just a thought away; or Alice Wamsley of Pomeroy who year after year takes on the beautification of downtown Pomeroy, not only planting thousands of starter plants but tending to them all summer long; or Jim Smith who never tires of working on improvement projects at the Mulberry Pond Park, or Kathryn Hart of Racine who along with many others just finishes one project after another geared to helping others; or Dolores Will of Pomeroy who for the last 20 years or so has been making what she calls “comfort quilts ” for the less fortunate, or Debbie Gerlach and other members of the Middleport Community Association, who work on one project or activity after another to benefit the village.

There is a very long list of Meigs Countians who give of their time and talent to benefit others without the expectation of getting something in return, and the benefits for both the receiver and the giver are many.

Volunteering is one way of feeling really good about yourself. Take long-time volunteer Hilda Weaver who runs the food pantry at the Meigs Cooperative Parish. Her passion is to see that the shelves are filled with canned goods and other food items, so that well-filled bags of groceries can go out to hungry people.

Everyone has something that they’re passionate about which they can use in some way to benefit an organization or a person.

The key is to let your passion guide you when you decide where to volunteer.

Don’t get roped into volunteering for something that you’re not interested in. Find something that you like to do and then direct your energies into that which matches those personal interests.

For example if you’re an animal lover, volunteer at the dog pound, if you’re into exercise and health, volunteer a few hours at some place like in the exercise room at the Mulberry Community Center, if you like to sew join the Comfort Club, and if you like to cook give some of your time to the Meals on Wheels program at the Senior Citizens Center or one of the free dinner programs held by the Parish or one of the churches in the county.

Volunteerism doesn’t have to take over your life.

It’s just giving a small part of your time in some way to make things better for someone else.