Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Why do we volunteer? For many years, our lives were focused on jobs and children. We earned money. Did our own thing. Were inwardly focused. Now it is time to give back.

When we first retired, we began volunteering at the Colorado Historical Society in the collections division of the museum. When we were in the Denver area, we spent one day a week there.

Since 1996 we have volunteered in state and national parks and now in a fish hatchery. We have enjoyed camping for many years. We know that both state and national parks have very limited budgets and it is difficult for them to do their jobs. We are able to help out and provide a better experience for those who visit the parks. We have a chance to give back to the community. For years we have benefited from a lot of tax breaks for home owners, for clergy, and for those receiving capital gains. We can spend some time and effort to benefit the taxpayers of this country through our volunteer labor.

This week we focused our volunteer labor in another direction. Three times a week we run down the edge of US Highway 30, then along an Oregon forest road. It isn't used much, except by us and by people who find it a convenient place to dump their trash. We spent some time picking up that trash. It was our way of showing appreciation for the land available to our use.

There are so many wonderful opportunities in this world. Sometimes we pay to take advantage of those opportunities. Sometimes we can give a little of our time and effort to help assure those opportunities will continue to be available for all to use. It makes us feel good to do that. True, we receive a free RV site when we do it. But we believe what we do benefits others, as well.

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