"I don't have time."
"We have just so much going on."
"They don't need OUR help."
We all know the excuses and some are truly justified. We don't argue that. People say it all the time. But let's help break down where we are as a community and why the number 168 should matter to anyone. Grab an old fashioned piece of paper and a pen ... I'll get to that in a minute.
Last week, I had a young woman approach us and say "Something in my life has been missing and I would like to volunteer at the park." Heartwarming words and I know that we can deliver and help her find that family and friendship right here in the park. SO many of our volunteers are finding us in their 30's, 40's and 50's because life is moving fast and they wanted to be a part of the community. Part of ... something.
When I was a kid, my parents were always involved in 100 things. March of Dimes, Scouting, the firehouse, the lodge ... this list goes on and on. I was raised in a family that gave to the community so it was never an options, we just did. I didn't realize until years later that this wasn't "normal" for most families. I firmly believe that is what's missing in MANY lives in ANY community and that's the feeling of involvement. Yes, we are all busy but I don't have any more time than you do, and you have no more time in your life than your neighbor. 168.
168 is the number of hours in a week. 24 times 7 equals 168. Ok big deal, I can do math right? So here in an exercise for you to do. Grab that old fashioned piece of paper and a pen (or pencil, go really old school number 2 pencil) and write "168" at the top. Now write the word "sleep" ... under that "eating" ... "work" ... and so on for every activity that you do each week. A row for bathroom or hygiene. I want you to account for your day. TV time. Walking your dog. Account for every hour of the week. When you're done, add them up and subtract from 168. The overwhelming majority of people cannot account for 25-40 hours of their week. That's a massive amount of time.
Now ... what do you plan to do with the time you just found? Do you want to exercise more? A great idea. Do you want to learn a new language or take a college course? You can! You are finding time! You are LITERALLY MAKING TIME! Ok, so what if you took 2 or 4 hours/week and helped out in the community? Rewarding. Making new friends. Finding new interests.
We become a better and safer community when we work together to do so. There are MANY non-profits in town. MOST of which would love a phone call or an e-mail saying "how can I help?" Walk the dogs at Animal Welfare? Hand out flyers for a fundraiser? Plan an event? We all enjoy the help.
There is a peace found in giving of yourself for the betterment of others. Our park (yours and mine) requires about 10,000 hours of community volunteers to help us keep it looking good and feeling safe. We would love to be just one of your 168 ... or of your 672 (4 weeks or a month) if you'd like to come outside and be a part of what I feel is the greatest gift ever given to our town's people.
Volunteers aren't paid because they're worthless but because they're priceless. Would you like to be a friend of Harrybrooke? We love new friends.