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The true spirit of giving

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Much has been made recently of folks “paying their fair share.” In the political world, this is the hottest of topics.
    But the truth is, there are a lot more important ways to help this country out than paying the government more taxes. And it doesn’t cost anyone a dime—or even a penny. What it does cost is time.
    Volunteers are the true heroes of this country—they understand what it means to “pay their fair share.” And many go far beyond that.
    Just think what a world without volunteers would be like, right here in our own community:
    • Without volunteers, who would respond to fires or to help out in other emergencies;
    • Without volunteers, who would answer the calls when someone’s injured in an accident or suffering a heart attack;
    • Without volunteers, who would take the many who don’t have transportation to the doctor;
    • Without volunteers, who would look after the gardens in Centertown.
    Volunteers answer the calls on emergency hotlines, they visit with those who are sick in the hospital.
    Volunteers hand out food, clothes and other necessities to those who are struggling; volunteers help teach others to read.
    Volunteers hand out hot meals to the elderly and provide after-school activities for the young.
    Volunteers teach Sunday School classes and lead games at VBS.
    Volunteers coach the soccer, football and T-ball teams.
    Volunteers recount for visitors the sacrifices made at D-Day; volunteers clean up after thousands of visitors enjoy festivals.
    Volunteers take care of animals with no home and provide homes for children with nowhere else to go.
    Volunteers touch everyone in this community. Volunteers make a difference. Volunteers are never afraid to give—and give even more.
    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics volunteers nationwide gave to the tune of 8.1 billion hours from Sept. 2010 to Sept. 2011, amounting to about $173 billion in volunteered time. That’s folks “paying their fair share” — and much more.
    They do all of this freely and with a smile on their face.
    And each of us are better for it.
    As freely as we receive, we should each also give. To those who do, we salute you. To those who haven’t yet found the joy of real giving, there’s never a better day than today to start “paying your fair share.”