Valdosta Daily Times

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What We Think

October 1, 2012

Volunteers: Our better angels

-- — The story on Keep Lowndes/Valdosta Beautiful in today’s paper is a reminder that many Valdosta and Lowndes County residents are dedicated to doing good for the community.

In preparing for the annual Rivers Alive waterway cleanup, KLVB Executive Director H. Aaron Strickland discovered he has more than enough volunteers to remove debris from eight water zones in the city and the county. So many that he’s actually turning people away from this Saturday’s Rivers Alive and asking if they can instead volunteer with KLVB for Make-A-Difference Day later this month.

Yet, none of us should really be surprised. We see this spirit of volunteerism each week in Valdosta and Lowndes County.

Instead of sleeping in Saturday mornings, hundreds of people rise almost weekly before dawn to run in 5K races dedicated to a cause.

A dying veteran wanted his family’s home repaired before he passed. Numerous volunteers have been working to make his dream a reality.

Though slowed by heavy rains, Habitat for Humanity volunteers have essentially built a house in the past few weeks.

The Valdosta Daily Times pages are regularly filled with students helping others, groups raising money, donations being made, etc.

In this day and age when even Facebook feeds, Internet posts and even our own Rant & Rave seem filled with people angry and often at one another’s throats, people tend to forget all of the good things happening. We tend to focus on people who are difficult rather than the people who are rising to the challenge of difficulties.

If the negativity of politics and the snarkiness of social-media commentary are bringing you down, think of these volunteers who make a difference each week, each day, in our community.

Or join them and become one of the better angels of our nature.

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