In my short time working at the Journal I have had the privilege of meeting many amazing people dedicated to making their community a better place for all. The number of outstanding organizations with dedicated people that are willing to freely give their time in order to help others is astounding. There is hardly a week that passes when there is not at least one story, often more, in the paper pertaining to a group or organization holding a fundraiser or donating money to those in need.
This week I had the opportunity to meet a very special woman, Deborah Bicker, this year’s winner of the Volunteer of the Year Award. As I spoke with Deborah it was clear to see that she gave her time for no other reason than out of kindness and devotion to helping others. She spoke fondly of her time helping others and outside of being with her family; it seemed she could not think of any better way to spend her time. Listening to Deborah and seeing her light up when she talked about volunteering was very refreshing.
It seems the media tends to over cover tragedy, which as of lately there has been no shortage of to report on. So hearing Deborah’s story and getting to meet others like her in the community has helped restore my belief in humanity. I have always believed that people were inherently good. As I grew older though, I learned people could become consumed with greed and power and in certain cases they would stop at nothing to achieve their selfish pursuit. I learned the world was not all sunshine and rainbows. This realization, this loss of innocence, caused me to become slightly negative and cynical.
However, thanks to people like Deborah and the organizations they represent I am able to see the world differently yet again. While I understand the world is not perfect I am also able to see there are people working towards a better future. Perhaps it is this constant struggle between right and wrong, good and evil, that makes us human. Maybe seeing what is wrong with the world and the unpleasant situations people are in allows us to fully understand the joys of helping others. One thing I am certain of, however, is the fact that this community has copious amounts of people and organizations willing to help those in need and because of their efforts and hard work our community is a better place for everyone.
By Clint Mix