Volunteers drive our communities

Volunteering in and around our communities knows no deadlines.

There’s no cutoff time or day when it just stops, and for that we are truly grateful.

We’ve said it before, but we believe the Upper Ohio Valley’s volunteers are some of the best. They continue to be the backbone of our communities, and that’s more evident as the holidays grow nearer.

We have been blessed with people who, plain and simple, get things done. Our volunteers hail from all throughout the Tri-State Area — Steubenville and Toronto, Wellsburg and Weirton and in Wintersville, Mingo Junction, Cadiz, Smithfield, Burgettstown, Bergholz, Richmond, New Cumberland and Beech Bottom and beyond.

That bond also exists in our larger nonprofit organizations such as the United Way, the Salvation Army and American Red Cross right down to the smaller, but just as important, local nonprofit service agencies.

And we know firsthand that most of our volunteers never seek recognition for what they do. They’re just there assisting with whatever needs to be done and more than likely enjoying every minute of it.

Our volunteers help in collecting money to clothe the needy or gathering warm coats, hats and scarves for needy children. They work hard to collect food to stock a pantry or fill grocery bags. And our volunteers know no age limits, from youngsters helping others through school projects to senior citizens donating knowledge and experience to counsel and comfort youngsters.

We are reminded of the great worth of our volunteers at this time of the year as projects to help the needy become more prevalent. We wouldn’t want to do without these caring volunteers, as many children and families would go without food, clothing, toys and assistance.

We’re coming down to the wire this season and so many of us are caught up in the annual crunch of holiday activities and commitments which leave little time to think of others. But, as always, that special group of tireless volunteers always seems to find time to give to others.

We view that silent group of people, working behind the scenes in churches, food pantries, ringing bells for the Salvation Army and in the schools and at senior citizens centers, as what the holiday season is truly all about.

And, hopefully, as the need for assistance grows in our communities, so too will the number of people willing to volunteer.