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Focusing on Adults 50+ in Mesa, Delta, Montrose and Garfield Counties

Meeting many needs by doing good deeds

Apr 30, 2012, noon
Over 52,890 people voted to choose the BEACON’s 2012 Volunteer of the Year.

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Dave Rosen, the BEACON’s 2012 Volunteer of the Year, was nominated by Lynne Klish and the board of Colorado Discover Ability.

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“I like to help people and give back to the community. Staying busy keeps me out of trouble—most days! I meet new and interesting people and am able to build a rapport with those I see frequently. I talk up volunteering to others, too, because I think the more people helping others, the better.” -Clayton Dause, Sherriff’s Department, Habitat for Humanity, Mesa County Health Department, AARP Tax Aide, Museum of the West, Mesa County Fair & Mesa County RSVP

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“I have to think in my heart of hearts that it makes a difference in someone’s life that I get up in the morning. I can’t think of anything worst than getting up and not having anything to do.” -Joy Bush, Grand Junction Visitor and Convention Bureau, Fruita Welcome Center, Western Colorado Botanical Gardens, Homeward Bound Homeless Shelter & Mesa County Libraries

By Marsha Kearns

Volunteer—an individual who reaches out beyond the confines of paid employment and normal responsibilities to freely contribute time and service to a cause in the belief that their activity is beneficial to others as well as satisfying to themselves.

This definition certainly applies to each of the Volunteer of the Year nominees at this year’s BeaconFest. Twenty-four people were chosen as finalists for Volunteer of the Year, and every one of them embodies the passion and caring that exemplify selfless giving—none more so than Dave Rosen, who was chosen as Volunteer of the Year.

Rosen, 66, said, “It was an honor to stand among that group of people who have given so much of their time and energy.”

Congratulations to all the nominees, and kudos to all the wonderful volunteers in our community. They make the world work in a multitude of good ways.

With so many daily demands in our lives, it’s sometimes hard to think about carving out time to volunteer. However, investing your services to make your community a better place yields enormous benefits—for you and for other individuals, as well as for the community in general.

The basic requirements for volunteering are a desire to help, a compassionate and open mind, a willingness to do whatever is needed, and a positive attitude. Volunteering is a great way to explore your interests with others who share your passion. Volunteering can spark your creativity and feed your soul.

“It feels good to help,” Rosen said. “Plus, there is a lot of work needed to make things better, but not much money to pay for it. If volunteers do it, it gets done. Otherwise, not so much.”

Where to find volunteer opportunities

Just about every nonprofit organization needs volunteers to function, because most nonprofits have limited resources for fulfilling their mission. This means opportunities to help abound in your state, county, and neighborhood.

Rosen has volunteered at Colorado Discover Ability for 25 years as a ski instructor and rafting guide.

“I was at Powderhorn one day in 1987 and saw a woman from CDA in a sit-ski teaching a group of able-bodied instructors how to help her,” Rosen said. “I stopped to ask questions. They needed help, even unskilled help like mine, for the first Disabled Veteran’s Winter Sports Clinic happening at Powderhorn the following week. I’m a veteran, so it was an instant fit.”

You may already know where your interests and passions lie, and these can lead you directly to the organization that’s right for you. Just call and ask to speak to the volunteer coordinator, and see if you can visit the organization and get a feel for the place and the people. Or it may just happen for you like it did for Rosen.

“Private enterprises can’t figure out how to run programs for those with disabilities, although some provide a lot of support, both moral and material,” Rosen said. “The government doesn’t do too well, either. CDA does.”

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