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Editorial: Help your community by offering to volunteer

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Residents in Bartholomew County will be called to action for the National Day of Service and Remembrance on Sept. 11. This is a great opportunity for people to volunteer their time and talents and positively impact the community.

The United Way of Bartholomew County made a callout to all businesses seeking volunteers to assist its 26 nonprofit agencies that support more than 30 programs. Opportunities to help range from maintenance of the Jonathan Moore Pike People Trail section to a painting project for Columbus Housing Authority to sorting clothing for the Orphan Grain Train.

The response has exceeded the initial hope of 500 volunteers and dwarfed last year’s turnout of 200 participants.

Nearly 500 representatives from businesses large and small have committed to helping. Also, about 800 students from Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp.’s i-CARE program, a combination of care and education for Grades K-6, have agreed to lend a hand.

That’s a lot of help, but keeping the momentum going would be even more beneficial to the community.

Businesses that don’t have representatives committed to the service day should consider doing so. Nonprofits help many people in a community, including businesses’ employees.

The county’s biggest business, Cummins, has demonstrated strong leadership in community service with its Every Employee Every Community program. Volunteerism is ingrained in the company’s core values and resulted in a record number of hours contributed to community projects worldwide last year. Bartholomew County benefited with a recycling event, math and reading tutoring for students, rehabilitation of homes and the inaugural Mill Race Marathon, for example.

Businesses that participate in the Day of Service might find that it’s something they enjoy and would like to do more than once a year. More help on a regular basis would be good for the community.

Understandably, it’s easier for large companies such as Cummins, Enkei or NTN Driveshaft to spare manpower than small businesses with a handful of employees. However, small businesses could band together to form volunteers teams. If six small businesses each had one employee participate, for example, that wouldn’t drain their manpower too much while creating a nice-sized action team capable of getting a lot of work done.

Tremendous opportunities exist for Bartholomew County residents to volunteer. Participating in the Day of Service is one way. An investment of a little brain power and elbow grease has the power to benefit the community greatly.

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