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LETTERS: April is volunteer month – take a moment to thank a volunteer

— April has been designated a time to celebrate volunteering; it’s a time to recognize those who get involved, people who give back in whatever way they can and inspire others to do the same. National Volunteer Recognition month is a time to salute those who see a need and fill it with the only reward being the satisfaction of knowing that they helped.

It is so important to recognize the impact and power of volunteerism; to appreciate some of the things we may take for granted but would miss if it weren’t for our community volunteers. To name just a few of our community’s unique volunteer efforts:

In 1817, a group of women formed the Female Charitable Society to provide food for starving residents after the “year without a summer.” Realizing that there were other needs being unmet, this group is still active today and is probably best known for its medical loan closet – the only one in all of central New York.

Since 1942, the Baldwinsville Theatre Guild has been the oldest continually-performing community theatre group in New York State.

The Friends of the Visitor’s Center are a group of dedicated volunteers who staff the Visitor Center from May until September. Since 2005, they have welcomed people from all over the world offering assistance and information about our community.

Baldwinsville has the only public access TV station in the county that is solely maintained and operated by an all-volunteer staff with the goal of helping Baldwinsville residents to “tune into your community.”

Baldwinsville also has the only community supported volunteer center in the county. The Baldwinsville Volunteer Center has operated as an independent agency since 1998 and continues to provide some unique programs not found in other parts of the county, such as a school-based mentoring program, holiday assistance through our Christmas Bureau, H.E.L.P. program which coordinates stocking area food pantries with basic personal care, paper and cleaning supplies and a new initiative B’ville C.A.R.E.S., which offers crisis intervention, advocacy and referrals for individuals and families. The Volunteer Center also hosts the only community-wide volunteer recruitment fair and hosts an annual event to honor an outstanding man and woman volunteer.

So take a moment, or several, to thank a volunteer this month for their dedication and commitment to making a difference and make the decision yourself to help make great things happen. We can all give back in our own way and April is the perfect time to discover your power to make a difference.

On behalf of our Board of Directors, we want to extend our thanks and appreciation to all of the volunteers who make Baldwinsville a wonderful community to live in.

Nancy Conley is the Executive Director of the Baldwinsville Volunteer Center, Inc.

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