For the past several years, I have tried to give back to the communities I’ve lived in by volunteering when possible.
My busy schedule doesn’t allot much time to do as much as I would like, but whenever I find time to give back, it always feels incredible.
I recently had two opportunities in October to give back — Renfrew’s Pumpkin Festival in Waynesboro and the United Way of Franklin County’s Day of Caring.
At Renfrew, groups of volunteers came together to help serve visitors enjoy a beautiful fall day with their families.
The sun was shining bright, and I was amazed at how well perfect strangers worked together to accomplish a goal.
I was placed at the soup stand, and ladled hearty vegetable soup to hungry patrons. The line was slow at first, but picked up quickly.
I worked with a group of Mount St. Mary’s students and Claire Cahill of Waynesboro. While we formed an assembly line to get bowls of steaming soup to visitors, we learned about each other’s lives for a few hours. I was extremely impressed with the future aspirations of the students from the Mount’s swim team. Future doctors, engineers and political science majors having fun together while helping others.
A few weeks later, I wanted to help the United Way with its Day of Caring. The organization had a list of various projects to be completed throughout Franklin County, and I chose to help spruce up the exterior at Coyle Free Library in downtown Chambersburg.
I was paired with three gentlemen from FirstEnergy Corp., who thankfully came prepared with leaf blowers and rakes.
While they worked to clear the walkways and do the tough part of the job, I walked around the building pulling weeds from the mulch and flowerbeds.
It felt amazing to get outside in the fresh air, knowing we were making the area beautiful for passersby, as well as the library staff and patrons. The library was especially grateful for our help, and a few staff members told us how appreciative they were because they can only hire landscapers every so often for the upkeep. A few passersby also commented on our work and thanked us for helping.
Thank you to the volunteers who worked with me during those events, and made the days run smoothly! There are so many amazing people in our communities that work to make Franklin County a great place to live, work and play.
There are numerous volunteer opportunities available year-round, and I hope anyone reading this is inspired to help with some of them. Donating your time is free, and is good for the soul!
By DENISE BONURA
Shippensburg News Chronicle
Franklin County CTA