By Tony Hooker
“What is the essence of life? To serve others and to do good.” —Aristotle.
The thought that you can be helped by helping others obviously isn’t a recent one, but it’s one that is becoming an increasingly difficult sell. So many of us are so busy living life that we can’t carve out time for giving, which is too bad, because…
The sign says that twenty-six hundred people call the river city their home.
That’s over 2000 people who bring their individual strengths and talents into play daily.
Now think about what Villa Grove could accomplish if each of those 2600 people could give one hour of their time per month to local causes that they care about.
Those twenty-six hundred hours represent over 100 days of potential impact on our community, in ways both big and small. With that being said, here are just a few local organizations that can always use a helping hand.
The Chamber of Commerce sponsors and staffs myriad activities here in town, from the kid’s fishing derby, which will be coming up in May, to the ubiquitous pork burger booth, you can find them almost any time something’s going on in town. Rest assured that they would welcome an assist at any of their events. Contrary to popular (at least my former) believe, you don’t have to own a business in VG to join. In fact, if you want to participate but aren’t interested in a leadership role, you can join as an associate member, as some have chosen to do. They are intent on doing good for the community and they’re also a pretty fun group to hang out with.
Although Lion’s Clubs all over the nation are struggling to keep members, the Villa Grove chapter is thriving, thanks in large part to the leadership of Libby Spannagel. (Stay tuned to next week’s journal for an in-depth look at Libby and the Lions) They too are always looking for folks who want to give back. Attend one of their meetings. See if this is something you can get behind. They make a difference, not only locally, but world-wide.
Are you good at working with your hands? Creative when it comes to plants and the like? Or, like me, you just have an ability to lift heavy things? If so, the BVG (Beautify Villa Grove) committee might be your thing. Thanks to the positive motivation that Rebekah and Tish from the Chix in Training have come to personify, this dynamic group has been out in the community, making a difference in our town’s appearance for the past several years. From the Main street Planters adorned with flowers in the spring and summer and Holiday cheer in the fall and winter, to the total revamp of Harrison Park, and so much more, this group has made a difference. They too would welcome you and your skillset, whatever it is, into the fold.
If you’re an active church goer, there are always volunteer opportunities, food and clothing drives, home repair projects and any number of projects that are there and available for you.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, our fire department is staffed entirely by volunteers. These guys and gals always answer the call when they can, regardless of their personal situation. Of course, most of these folks have day jobs, and can’t always be around. They are always open to new volunteers, at any level.
The need is real, friends. If none of the opportunities I mentioned appeal to you, find your own lane and go for it. You and everyone your effort impacts will be glad you did.