Library volunteers: One big, caring community

Volunteers at the Northern Resource Center (Belton) register children for the summer reading program.

There’s something about us that can’t be measured in dollars and cents. And that’s what you give when you volunteer. When people volunteer, that’s when a community becomes a family.

As someone who supervises a volunteer program for the library with more than fifteen weekly volunteers representing 35 – 40 man-hours per week, I see first-hand the benefits of volunteerism – not only to the library, but also to the volunteer.

I’ve seen the look on an elderly woman’s face who, otherwise isolated, is now brought into the circle of an extended family of volunteers. I’ve seen two WWII vets, accustomed to a life of service, bonding over coffee and their shared passion for serving their community.  I’ve seen special-needs children from the high-school, after completing the simplest of tasks, emerge triumphant over being on the giving-end of things for a change. We all have something to give.

These are things no amount of money could buy. They happened because people gave of themselves, not just of their wallet. We appreciate whatever donations you make to the library. But there’s something more we need as well. Your hands, your feet, your face, your mind, your heart and your soul. Because once you’ve given us all that, then you and I and all of us become what people are meant to be to each other: one big, caring community.

If you would like to volunteer at your local library, you can pick up an application at any branch, or go here to complete an online application.

– Teri Milbourn, Northern Resource Center Branch Manager