Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Letters to the Editor

May 4, 2014

In praise of Bluefield’s volunteers

— — Often in graduation speeches, Sunday sermons and sometimes, fortune cookies, we are given inspirational quotes on getting engaged and volunteering our time. We hear words like Gandhi’s “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” Margaret Mead’s “Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has,” or from the unknown author “Do not ever question the value of volunteers. Noah’s Ark was built by volunteers; the Titanic was built by professionals.” These are designed to motivate us to take action, often where we are planted.

In the past year that I have worked for the city of Bluefield, one of the many things that has impressed me is the volunteer spirit of this community. Individuals and organizations have heard these words, took them to heart, and are acting on their convictions. As we finally shake off the winter weather and enjoy time outdoors in Nature’s Air-Conditioned City, volunteers will once again visibly be working hard to improve the aesthetics of our city. At the same time many continue to work year round on projects to improve what is offered in our community at large. Whether you are working on a long-term community project or giving time to wash windows, plant flowers, plan a festival or parade, work with children, improve your block of the neighborhood, or you just pick up loose litter as you walk your dog, please hear your neighbors, the greater community, and me say thank you. Keep up the great work!

I would be remiss if I did not follow up this public thank you with a call to action for more of us to join in and volunteer. Everyone can do something at any age. There are a multitude of opportunities available to us all.  If you need a suggestion, start with your home and neighborhood or call me at city hall where we will be happy to help you volunteer. I promise the feeling you take away after doing something good for your community is worth it. In closing, here is one more quote for you, from an unknown source: “Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.”

Joshua D. Cline

assistant city manager

City of Bluefield

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