Volunteering your time, mind, and energy to accomplish the goals you believe in doesn’t merely satisfy a sense of civic duty; it is legitimately gratifying to work with others who share your passions.
Have you ever seen those “Adopt a Highway” signs? Do you know what they’re for? Those signs tell us who has offered their time and energy cleaning up road ditches along the roads around our communities. Litter control doesn’t just magically happen, nor does garbage simply disappear. Community members are crucial to picking up the garbage that is tossed out of vehicles (or is blown in by the wind) every season. Whether it’s the local Chamber of Commerce, Lions Club, or other private or public groups, people power is in action.
Does your town have a local Area Community Foundation? I am in my fourth year on the Harmony Area Community Foundation board, and I can’t tell you how grateful I am to be a part of a team of people who are truly dedicated to improving our community. Ours consists of high schoolers to senior citizens. See if your town has one and what you can do to become involved! Or, contribute financially during Give to the Max Day, a day where you can donate to your favorite (local!) non-profit organization. Consider donating to your local Area Community Foundation or ask a local leader how to get involved.
Community involvement is the foundation of any rural town. Where we live isn’t solely a collection of houses or apartments. Behind every storefront is a dedicated shopkeeper who is likely pulling double and triple duty as a community organizer or volunteer first responder. I’m always astounded at the community service many of our members perform before, after, and sometimes during work.
What does your town have that you can get involved with? Our county has environmental organizations such as Friends of the Root River, we have local historical societies that would love to get people involved, we have churches, 4-H groups, Community Foundations, blood drives (where you can donate blood if you’ve already given your sweat and tears!), and the list goes on. There are countless local organizations to get involved with.
An upcoming event here in Harmony is Empty Bowls (on November 10), which is a fundraiser for the Fillmore County Food Shelf. While this event is being held in Harmony, it benefits the entire region and we’d love to have both volunteers and patrons from across our county. You’ll have the opportunity to try soups made and donated by local restaurants both here in Harmony and beyond, as well as take home an artisan-made bowl. Find out more on Facebook at Empty Bowls – Harmony.
Many hands make light work, and there’s plenty of work that needs doing!