Benefits of volunteerism good message for community

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Al Furlani, left, poses with Cheri Stone, Community Impact director of the United Way of Bartholomew County, after receiving the Volunteer Award during the United Way of Bartholomew County's annual meeting at The Commons in downtown Columbus, Ind., Tuesday, March 6, 2018. Mike Wolanin | The Republic

The United Way of Bartholomew County recently named Al Furlani as its Volunteer of the Year for his contributions to the organization and the community.

Notably, he serves on multiple boards and committees for organizations. Some examples:

  • Guiding team for United Way’s Avenues to Opportunity
  • United Way’s Community Impact Committee
  • Co-chair of the Bartholomew County Financial Literacy Coalition

In the past, he’s also been a regular volunteer at the Love Chapel food pantry in Columbus.

Those contributions are important. So, too, was the message he shared during his acceptance of the United Way volunteer award March 6.

He stressed the importance of giving back to the community through volunteerism.

Furlani said that the benefits of volunteering to individuals, groups and the community are significant. Helping others not only makes them feel good about the assistance received, but creates good feelings for those who offered the helping hand. That’s because acts of kindness demonstrate what’s best about people, and how we would like others to help us in a time of need.

He also stressed that volunteerism has no age requirements or restrictions, and takes many forms. People of all ages can brighten the lives and spirits of others through their generosity and willingness to help. That can be by serving on boards or in hands-on activities such as CANstruction, which involves building artistic structures with cans of food, which are later donated to local food pantries for distribution to people in need.

We agree with Furlani’s message.

Volunteering is something anyone can do, and should do. It makes a difference in the lives of community residents, which in turn benefits the greater community. That’s something we should all champion.