Joan Dorsey
Contributing columnist
Civic organization, belonging to a group and just plain being included by Joan Dorsey
With the onset of much colder weather just a couple of months away, spending time alone is on the horizon for lots of people.
Some people are ok with the alone thing. I am pretty fine with it. I do my thing and I talk to people by phone and text. The young couple down the street have sort of adopted me. They keep an eye out and make sure I am not doing anything stupid.
I was approached by a wonderful woman, whom I have known for years. I respect her very highly. She and her husband are retired and they are really good people. She invited me to join one of our local civic organizations. I told her I would ponder this, give it some thought.
I like to volunteer. I like to talk to people and I like to be useful. I am a pretty much freelance volunteer. I am not in it for recognition or the thanks. I do it because the best feeling in the world is helping out when you know your reward is the smiles you get from the folks you are dealing with.
Back in another life, when I was first lady of the small neighboring town, (insert hearty laugh here), I was volunteered for this and that. Usually because I wasn’t at the meetings when people were assigned various duties. So my name was sometimes used for filling in an open spot on an event.
My kids were young. I am guessing maybe six and eleven. But they were very good help in these situations. We had been given the task of manning the cool down, water, snack table at Edgerton Elementary for an early Saturday morning bike ride. The ride had probably started in Lawrence and was headed for Lenexa. I am guessing. There were pit stops all along the way and porta-potties for the riders plus some shade.
We had sat up our table before it was hardly light. The kids iced the water and placed the snacks on the table for the riders to come. The event was also being monitored by a group of HAMM radio operators. They had mobile units or possibly CB radios in case of accidents or riders needing a lift.
So as we waited for our first riders to appear, a very large black truck appears. There are multiple antennas on the top. I figure this must be one of the radio guys. The gentleman pops out and runs around to the passenger side. He opens the door and extends a hand to his wife. She is a small lady, has a huge jet black beehive hairdo, much make up and probably doesn’t cast a shadow in the sunshine. She wants to know who we are and why we are here. I explain we are volunteers and it is good for my kids to learn about helping with events in our town. I see her teeth become stuck to her lipstick as she turns to get back into the truck. Once inside the gestures and lip reading assured me she was not happy giving up her post at the school to some Mom and her kids.
Is there a point to all this? Yes there is. Our town has many fine civic organizations. We have the Lions club, Masonic loddge, American legion; we have veterans of Foreign Wars, Grange, Rotary and many church groups and sub groups. Just to name a few. They staff events here in town so citizens can enjoy the activities. They hold breakfast and soup dinners to make money for scholarships to help buy books or needed items for college kids. They send high school kids to band camps and events across the state. They work behind the scenes in your little town. Because of them events run smoother. They all need help. They need good people to make this work.
If you want to be part of a group and find your purpose, join a civic organization here in town. They do no harm, only good. You will feel needed, and appreciated.
I am still pondering the invite. There will always be different personalities’, a hierarchy that was established before you joined. People are people; we are all the same inside.
So join and help our town if you can. Or if that isn’t your thing; maybe just go freelance and volunteer for the events that are close to your heart.
Either way, our community benefits.