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West Virginia Answers the Call on “Volunteer Day”

November 16, 2007

Charleston, WV – This Saturday is "National Family Volunteer Day," and more than 380,000 West Virginians work as volunteers each year. Kim Tieman with the West Virginia Commission for National and Community Service says there are as many ways to volunteer as there are groups that can use your help. She says giving your time and skills are also great ways for families to pull together and do something for their local communities.

"Volunteerism helps us to understand our community better, become more socially aware, and it helps people to feel connected, to feel like they can make a difference."

Some West Virginians are getting an early start on their weekend volunteer projects. David Maurer, a teacher at Notre Dame High School in Clarksburg, is a leading a group of students on a relief effort in flood-damaged areas of Ohio. He says when youth get involved in volunteering, they want to do more.

"Once you get the bug for it, it's a hard habit to break. That's a good habit to have."

He says 30 students volunteered to make the trip to Ottawa, Ohio this weekend. They'll be pulling nails, cleaning up, and doing other flood recovery work.

Tieman agrees, volunteering isn't just good for the community; the person who makes the commitment gets plenty out of it as well.

"You can feel that you positively made a difference for somebody outside of yourself, and outside of your family group. I think when you volunteer, you're going to get back twice as much as you give to the organization or the effort."

She says West Virginians looking to volunteer can choose from a wide variety of local nonprofit organizations, faith groups, or look online at volunteerwv.org to see where help is needed.

Rob Ferrett/Eric Mack, Public News Service - WV