This year’s theme for National Volunteer Week is certainly one that resonates in the Valley. The week-long celebration of those who love to give back to their respective communities took place from April 24 to 30, under a banner proclaiming “Volunteering Weaves Us Together.” As an area long renowned for its textiles, the metaphors to describe the significance of our local volunteers are endless. For example, they strengthen our social fabric by threading local connections that weave our lives together to create a vibrant and resilient community. It’s kitschy, but true.
Imagine how empty the pages of this newspaper would be if we did not have dedicated volunteers organizing events, activities, and BBQ suppers. The Earth Day Forum started as a spark in the mind of one volunteer that spread like wildfire; the response from social and environmental organizations and different community groups was testament to how badly we need an organized local response to the climate crisis. The courageous work of the Bridges Not Borders volunteers has and will continue to impact the lives of asylum seekers as they weigh making a claim in this country. The leaders of the local Scouting movement and 4-H groups are positively influencing the lives of Valley youth through their commitment to traditions such as the Kub Kar Rallies and square dance competitions. And so much can be said about the teachers, staff members, and families of our youth who work tirelessly and on their own time to help our children achieve their dreams. Need I go on?
The Valley is indeed woven together by threads each volunteer sews. And, like all quilt work when everything comes together, it is a beautiful thing.