Desperately in need of volunteers

There appears to have been a running theme in conversations at various events I’ve attended recently.

Whether it has been a festival committee, a business organization or a community association, all seem to have difficulty finding people willing to give their time.

President George H.W. Bush once discussed his “thousand points of light” in an effort to encourage volunteerism.

These days, one might find difficulty finding 10 individuals willing to lend a hand to their community.

Yet, when a group decides to no longer plan an event, or even to disband after years of working for the benefit of others, there are those who get on their keyboards or jump into the local gossip channels and complain about the lack of community spirit.

Of course, of those complainers, I’m sure few have ever actually stepped up to help out themselves.

We hear the naysayers talk about a lack of activities for this group or that group, but I would wonder how many have looked into the possibility of putting an event together.

People look for active communities when they are relocating their homes or businesses.

They want to see good schools, recreational opportunities and other factors, but they also want to see involvement by residents.

I can tell you, the various organizations I have covered over the years, there are a lot of the same faces showing up to meetings and events.

Many have been involved in the various aspects of our communities for many years. Every once in a while, you will find someone new show up to help out, but not many.

There are still numerous events in our local towns. Whether it be a holiday celebration, a church festival, a chamber of commerce program or a United Way fundraiser, there is always something taking place in our area. Pretty much all of them could use a few extra hands to help out.

I understand people’s time is limited with work and family commitments, but there is certainly something each of you would like to volunteer toward.

Maybe there is something in your children’s schools, or you feel some efforts are needed to make improvements at a local park?

Perhaps you could organize a litter cleanup with your neighbords, focusing on the area around your house. Maybe your kids could get involved and offer their time, as well. Community service is important, and the earlier we learn that in life, the better we can make our communities.

The Ohio Valley is in a turning point. There are efforts to create jobs and reinvigorate the region.

But for those who sit back and dream of the way things used to be, they need to remember all of the events in our area and the way residents took pride in their cities.

Sitting in our homes and complaining about things not getting done will not see anything take place any sooner. It takes people being willing to step up and take the needed action.

I applaud those who are willing and able to give of their time. You are the ones who are making things happen, but you also shouldn’t have to do it all.

We have a group of great communities in the Ohio Valley, but our spirit doesn’t always show it.

There are groups out there who could use your help, even if it is only once a month. I encourage everyone to see how they can better contribute.

(Howell, a resident of Colliers, is managing editor of The Weirton Daily Times, and can be contacted at or followed on Twitter @CHowellWDT)