01/17/07 — A new resource: Public service and volunteers might be unexplored answer

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A new resource: Public service and volunteers might be unexplored answer

There is a much-overlooked resource that this county — and others like it across the nation — are not capitalizing on as much as they should as they try to plan and grow their futures.

It isn’t more tax money or some silver-tongued politician with answers that have not yet been explored.

It isn’t even some brilliant bureaucratic plan or a complete procedures audit.

The greatest resource this community has is the people who live here.

There are hundreds of ways and multiple areas where the assistance of volunteers could add to the opportunities for this community to grow and improve.

One of the first places to look is the schools. There are hundreds of children in Wayne County’s schools who could use someone to look up to, to talk with or maybe just to ask a question about a math problem or an English assignment.

No long hours here, just the willingness to give a little time. Think what would happen if even half of the students who are facing challenges in our schools had someone to count on— even for just a couple of afternoons a week.

And how often could we spare that little bit of time.

And schools are just the beginning.

Over the last year, Wayne County has lost many people who devoted some of their lives to making this community a better, stronger place.

Most of them had no more time than we do now, and no fewer demands on their time, either.

They just decided that they would give of themselves first — and then worry about how to get the rest of the work done.

And the county we have today is partially built on their contributions — personally and, in some cases, monetarily.

We might not all be able to open a checkbook or to lead a fundraising drive, but there are areas every day in which our little bit could be just what Wayne County needs — if we are willing to take the time to give it.

The busier we become as a society, the more we forget where we came from and how we got here. A fitting tribute to those we have lost is to carry on their work — and their message.

Wayne County’s best resource is still its people — not just its fund balance. Perhaps we should think about capitalizing a little more on that tremendous asset.

Published in Editorials on January 17, 2007 12:15 PM