“Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.” — Unknown
First of all, I want to thank Yuni LaFontaine our Volunteer Coordinator. In just a very short time she has created a vibrant and successful volunteer program here at the Altadena Library. Before Yuni arrived we turned away volunteers left and right. And as a library, our role is to provide our users with opportunities and access to what they need to reach their full potential. Obviously, for many of you, that opportunity is the ability to give back to your community through service to the Library. And it is through Yuni and her dedication and hard work, that we have been able to provide this opportunity to so many in our community.
DJ Cronin the Development and Engagement Specialist at the Australian Red Cross says it best: “Life is short. In the scheme of things this oft quoted saying must be true. Our planet has been here for millions of years – our universe billions. On our headstones will be the etching of when we were born and the date when we died. For example 1960 – 2050 What matters to me are not the two years mentioned. It is the dash. That little dash. - That’s our life. That represents to me the short time we have, here, to make a difference, or not. And making a difference means so many different things to so many people.
….But for you, the volunteer, what you do during that dash is most significant. As a volunteer you give time. Time.
The most precious resource in our lives. Look at the dash. How many hours are in there? It’s not billions. It’s not infinite. Money can be printed. Time cannot. Once you give an hour of your time it is lost forever. That hour you just gave volunteering will never be replicated. Your time volunteering must be valued but we can never put a value on that time. How can you value something that is priceless? As a volunteer you bring much to this organization. Skills, advice, experience, friendship, vision, leadership, inspiration etc. That you bring. But time you give. In our time poor world, you bear the gift of time. You choose to donate the most precious commodity in the known universe. We may count your time in numbers. We may attempt to count your time in cash value. Though such methods have their reasons we will all be poorer if we don’t realize that the giving of your time is simply and utterly magnificent.So today, we take a little time out to thank you for the amazing “time in” that you give.”
And I want to add this….The 100’s of hours that you have dedicated to this library have made a huge difference in the lives of our users. The money you have raised, or saved the Library by your efforts, has allowed us to provide a wonderful array of educational, inspirational, and creative classes, seminars and cultural activities. These have not gone unnoticed. Every year more and more people attend these events and programs and they are immensely grateful. Some of you have volunteered your time to teach others, lead seminars, trainings and programs and this too is a special gift to give. Others have volunteered time to teach English and/or reading to those who have those needs. Changing their lives forever.
We are so very grateful for you.I am honored and gratified to work with you and to have you as an integral part of the Altadena Library District.
Truly, thank you for your time!
Mindy Kittay, Altadena Library District Director
Above: Some images from our recent Volunteer Appreciation Gathering!