Volunteering takes time, but worth it

Posted March 27, 2013 at 12:32 pm

Though at times, volunteering may seem like a full-time job, it is rather self-rewarding to know you’re doing something great for the betterment of others.

Whether you volunteer for your church, community, a civic group or a non-profit organization, there is a lot to be said about volunteers.

I have often scolded myself for volunteering too much, because it can be overwhelming at times, especially when events and meetings overlap and interfere with other items on my weekly calendar. For me, though, work obligations come first before my volunteer time.

This weekend I took some pictures at the annual town Easter egg hunt. You know, if it weren’t for the local Jaycees club sponsoring, organizing and putting this event on, all of the little boys and girls in Monticello would have to go elsewhere for some pre-Easter fun.

It would take a lot, too, for another organization to take over the event. The Jaycees have invested a lot of time, manpower and money into the Easter Egg Hunt.

Being on the Chamber Board, it’s more than just planning events and making decisions. One helpful tool the Chamber Board is working on is a goal-setting/strategic planning session. We are meeting to set long-range goals for the chamber when a new Board emerges. Questions such as “What is the purpose of the chamber?” and “Where do you see the chamber in x-amount of years?” will hopefully be answered as we work through the planning stages.

Many communities do not have chamber of commerce offices or departments. I think Monticello is lucky to have an active chamber. I’m not just saying this to boast about our group, but we are planning some great events for 2013 and into 2014! It’s an exciting time to be a part of the chamber and to support this organization as well!

I’ve always been a lover of books and reading. I can spend hours surrounded by books and never get bored. My interest in reading led me to join the Monticello Library Board a few years ago to replace a Board member who was leaving. After my time ran up, I didn’t throw a fit when I was asked to stay on.

It’s an interesting time for libraries right now. With the digital age, the actual “book” is being defined. It’s no longer hard- or paperback covered books, but electronic and digital copies. People are reading books on their phones, digital pad devices, listening to them in their cars. I still like to read an actual book myself.

The Monticello library is a busy place these days. People using the free public access computers, checking out books and DVDs and books on CD, reading newspapers from all over Eastern Iowa, relaxing for the afternoon in our quiet comfortable seating areas, working on their own laptops using the library’s free Wi-Fi and more!

Now that the library is experimenting with extended evenings hours, we’ve been scheduling programs and speakers after working hours. Most of our speakers are local and are showcasing their talents for all to see.

IGNITE is another great addition to the community. I’m sure you’ve heard or read about Aaron Thomas speaking at the high school this week. IGNITE was instrumental in contacting him for a great, well-attended community event! (I take no credit in this at all.)

We have an active executive board, who all have full-time jobs, yet put in so much time outside of work to organize these events for the county.

There are so many other ways to volunteer in this community. We have an amazing all-volunteer fire department. We have volunteers who lend their time with the Ambulance Service. There are tons of organizations as well to help with as well.