“We make a living with what we get. We create life through what we give. – Winston Churchill
I’ve always been an advocate for volunteerism, whether it’s with the Boy Scouts of America with my sons or with communities in North Texas schools or even with Rotary International through local Rotary clubs.
Spending time in service to others is an important part of life, a lesson passed on to my children, my friends, and even graduating seniors.
But what really brought the importance of volunteers to the forefront were the thousands of people and the tens of thousands of hours they spent helping our medical reserve corps during the pandemic.
We would not have been able to accomplish the seemingly insurmountable task of vaccinating the population without our volunteers. They came from all walks of life – from paramedics and firefighters to Rotary Club members to neighbors. They arrived from across the state and out of state – each putting in long hours on their feet from sunrise to sunset, happy to be of assistance when needed.
Each day, I took the time to walk through the vast Texas Motor Speedway parking lot to personally meet and thank these people, listen to their stories, and share their smiles as we worked toward a common goal.
I will never forget seeing my dear friend, former Trophy Club Mayor Nick Sanders, who volunteered his time at the vaccination clinic in honor of his son. Wade died at the age of 48 from COVID-19.
Nick was just one of many who left a lasting impression on everyone they met. These people forged lifelong bonds working day in and day out, side by side, during one of the most difficult times in our history. And when they all came together for our Volunteer Appreciation Dinner at the end, you could really feel the camaraderie and collective spirit of giving that night – a night I will never forget.
Even today, a year later, I still hear about how one volunteer made a difference in how someone felt about the immunization process.
National Volunteer Month recognizes the value and impact of volunteers. It is said that volunteers are the heart and soul of a community. There is certainly some truth in this statement, as volunteers can bring hope to others by helping to improve their communities.
It is this spirit of volunteerism that continues to make Denton County so special. When neighbors help neighbors, communities grow stronger and have a common goal.
Being a volunteer is a way of giving to others, but the reverse is also a benefit. Research shows that volunteers receive a multitude of benefits such as reduced stress, anger and anxiety. Reducing these factors helps to live in a better mental and physical state. It is said that volunteers are happier and more fulfilled people.
Volunteering offers a path to connect with others. Often new found friendships and strong bonds and relationships can be forged through a common bond of volunteering. Serving together for a common purpose can often bring people together who might otherwise never meet.
Some volunteers discover a new career path or a new passion through their service experience. Being exposed to a new organization or nonprofits can trigger something that was not clearly known before the volunteer experience.
Our Denton County nonprofits have been well served with volunteers and I hope will continue to be in the future. There will always be a need for more volunteers with our many non-profit organizations.
I am extremely grateful for the work our non-profit organizations have done and continue to do to help our residents in need. Our food pantries have helped feed many families and continue to do so as demand continues to increase 325% from what it was in 2019. A number of our nonprofits are working on county sides and United Way of Denton County to provide emergency rental assistance. available through US Treasury Department funds. Others focus on mental health needs while several work to address a growing problem of child abuse.
Each of these entities needs the help of volunteers – people who form the backbone of our social services to keep Denton County the kind of place we are all proud to call home.
We all have different interests and are drawn to different organizations and causes. Whatever your passion, I hope our Denton County residents find a way to harness it for the good of others. We all need the hope that comes with serving one another in our community.
Connect with us
It’s an honor to be your Denton County judge. If you have any questions or comments, please let me hear from you. My email is [email protected], and my office number is 940-349-2820. For more information, sign up for my newsletter at Dentoncounty.gov/countyjudgenewslettersignup