Your View | Letters to the Editor Nov. 30, 2012

Nov. 29, 2012 @ 03:39 PM

Thoughts on volunteering

Recently, one of my adult literacy tutors asked me for another student.  Not a different student, an additional one.  He already had three.   That tutor passed away the next day.

Although he was in his late 70’s, the death was unexpected.  A shock, actually.  I can only imagine what his family and close friends are going through as they mourn the loss of their husband, father, grandfather, uncle, brother, and friend.  In the office, we're mourning the loss of a dedicated volunteer.   He was a special man; one who always had a smile and a bit of wisdom to share.  But he was just one of so many who choose to help a stranger and seek nothing in return.  

Volunteers slip out of the house often with nothing more than an “I’ll be back later.”  Do you wonder what they really do while they’re gone?  I’ll tell you.  They walk through our doors with a hopeful smile.  They assure their students, “you can do this; try it again.”  They offer us an encouraging, “how can I help?”  Some days, they practically float out the door when a student has a breakthrough.  Other days, they go home asking themselves “did I make a difference?”  In spite of that, volunteers serve again and again.

If you volunteer for Literacy Council of Union County or for any of the important service organizations in the county, thank you.  You DO make a difference.

If you would like to volunteer but aren’t sure where to start, contact the United Way Volunteer Center at 704-371-6255.  They will gladly help match community needs with your interests.  (If your interest is adult literacy, we need you.  Contact us at 704-226-1425.)

If you know a volunteer, consider buying them lunch or a cup of coffee.  Consider it a small fee for a strong Union County.

Kelly Norton

Executive Director

Literacy Council of Union County

 

A joyous and healthy

celebration to everyone

The holiday season has officially begun, and I would like to take a moment to wish everyone a joyous and healthy celebration and a prosperous New Year.

I would also ask, to please remember to pray for all the men and women who serve our country and will not be able to spend the holidays with their love ones again this year. Ask God to protect them and bring them home soon.

I also ask, that you take a moment and remember what the season is truly about and the message it brings. Christmas is quickly approaching and all of us tend to get caught up in the giving of gifts and shopping. We tend to forget what the season is about, not just the giving of those gifts, but the giving of ourselves to others. I challenge everyone including myself to truly be the miracle this year and share a meal with someone you do not know or get to know a neighbor. Thank a soldier for their sacrifice or a deputy for keeping us safe in our neighborhoods. Remember the firefighters and paramedic for selflessly giving their time to help in an emergency. Even your child’s teacher for giving their time to educate the children of our town. The list goes on of those who protect or serve.

If your finances allow buy lunch for the person behind you at a fast food restaurant. We can forgive someone for whom we have held a grudge and ask nothing in return.

Promise yourself that you will accomplish one goal in the next year for yourself. There are so many things we can do to just bring a smile to someone else and to ourselves. When we pass on kindness and pay it forward then we take one step closer to being the people we know we can be.

I know I am thankful for my wonderful wife and the two beautiful children God has blessed us with and cherish everyday I have with them. I am also thankful to you, the people of Indian Trail, for entrusting me as your Mayor, and I will do my best to strive to honor you and this great town of ours.

May your holiday season, no matter which you celebrate, be filled with joy and may your dreams come true in the New Year.

Michael Alvarez

Mayor

Indian Trail