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Make the time for your neighbor in need

Editorial

A majority of the agencies in need of volunteers rely on retirees, many of whom bring a variety of talents from their years in the workforce. Yet, with vacations, “company” and other obligations, volunteers are not always a reliable option to replace paid workers. Therefore, more volunteers are always needed to fill in when others can’t make a shift because they are not available.

We encourage everyone — retirees, those in the workforce and teenagers — to volunteer, even if it’s only a few hours a week.

By helping the local animal shelter, food bank or other small organization, you are helping your neighbors in need. There’s always a little time to help.

Only 18.5 percent of New Yorkers volunteered in 2010 compared to the national average of 26.6 percent. According to Kathleen Snow, development director of North Country Regional Volunteer Center, New York state ranked dead last — 50 out of the 50 states — for active volunteerism.

During a time of crisis, those in the Adirondacks have proven when there is an imminent need, such as the disaster left in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene, they can accomplish great things. Snow said many people called into the office to find out how they could help and have continued to help through the Long Term Recovery group created to continue to help after FEMA left the area. The group includes members of the Mental Health Association, the Salvation Army and Project Hope.

Floodwaters or not, the need for your time and effort in the community is ever present.

For more information on how you can help the people in your community, call the United Way volunteer help line at 211 or visit one of your local organizations — fire departments, hospitals, libraries, chambers of commerce, museums, social groups, etc.

By volunteering, you are giving back, and your time is greatly appreciated.

Comments should be directed to denpubs@denpubs.com

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