Wed, April 01

Commentary: If you don’t volunteer, don’t complain

Steve King

Steve King

On a recent Tuesday night at the American Legion in Cottonwood, a group of about 20 people prepared and served a meal for another 100.

The reason for this was to raise money for a seventh-grade student named Dillin Larue at Cottonwood Community School.

Dillin has been fighting a very aggressive cancer diagnosis for the past three years and is currently down at the Mayo Clinic for another round of chemo. He is a truly remarkable kid whose attitude and joy for life in spite of its challenges is something we could all learn a little something from.

On the menu were tacos, rice, beans, and cupcakes, washed down with sodas. Some would say this was the perfect meal, and it was pretty good I must say. But what was even better is knowing that our community is blessed with so many good- hearted people.

It was inspiring to watch these volunteers serve those who have less, giving their time or money, or both. And they did it with smiles on their faces and for all the right reasons. Also remarkable were the people stuffing their bellies after having stuffed their dollar bills into a five gallon water jug at the door.

The greatest thing about my job is seeing amazing people do amazing things for our kids. I am inspired, and oftentimes awestruck by those in our schools doing the good work of the world for our children.

Like those volunteers at the Legion, many of these people don’t get paid, but they contribute their time, talents, treasure, and most importantly, their love for the community they live in.

They are our classroom grandmas, our helpers in the front office, our reading buddies, our coaches, our gardeners, our Big Brothers and Sisters, and Bruno and Lassie the Therapy Dogs, working in our classrooms, gyms, fields, libraries and playgrounds, always with smiles on their faces.

These volunteers in our district number more than 100, and put in thousands of hours each year in service to their kids and community. I am very grateful for all that they give.

I once read that there is no greater virtue than charity. It is considered a gift when you give a part of you to help another. It comes not without a cost because if it costs us nothing it would be meaningless, and that it is not.

Ask any of our volunteers why they do why they do what they do and they are never boastful. When I give them my thanks, they thank me back, and tell me that they get far more out of it than anyone.

They cry, they care, and they love on our schools and our kids. They light the way to a healthier community by sharing their gifts and their hearts with those who need it the most, all the while adorning themselves with the smiles of charity.

Yes, there is a cost, but as my grandma used to like to say, “You get what you pay for.”

I encourage any of you who have gotten this far, and are so inclined, to give a call to one of our schools in the Cottonwood Oak Creek School District.

You can also reach me at 928-634-2288, I would be more than happy to speak with you. Maybe you could even come down and take a tour and see what is happening in our schools. If you like what you see, and feel compelled to help out I’m sure we could find something that meets your schedule and inclination.

Above the kitchen at the American Legion is a sign that reads “If you don’t volunteer, you don’t get to complain.” I am not sure if this is true, though it probably should be.

But the funny thing is, I heard no complaints from anyone on that Tuesday night at the American Legion in Cottonwood.

Steve King is the superintendent of the Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District.

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