Center helps local citizens answer call to volunteer

Center helps local citizens answer call to volunteer
President George W. Bush, in his State of the Union Address on Jan. 29, called upon every American to commit to at least two years during a lifetime of volunteer service, to prepare for and respond to major emergencies, rebuild communities, mentor children, and extend the compassion of our country to the rest of the world.
The Volunteer Center of Youngstown/Mahoning Valley is delighted by the president's remarks. As Youngstown's and the Mahoning Valley's leading advocate for the authority on volunteering and part of the Points of Light Foundation & amp; Volunteer Center National Network, together we have been dedicated to engaging more people more effectively in volunteer service for more than 100 years.
The Points of Light Foundation & amp; Volunteer Center National Network, a nonpartisan and nonprofit organization, supports and organizes the vital work of community volunteers who help solve our nation's most serious social problems by bringing people and resources together.
The "new culture of responsibility" described in the president's speech can and must engage citizens and organizations who are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of others. For example, now in our community Big Brothers & amp; Big Sisters needs people willing to serve on its board. Help Hotline needs people to man phones in its crisis center. Volunteer Service to Seniors needs people who are willing to grocery shop for the elderly homebound.
Home Hospice needs people to give direct comfort to patients and families as well as people willing to help out in the office. Second Harvest Food bank needs people to help in the warehouse. This is only a sample of community service opportunities available in our area.
The Volunteer Center of Youngstown is constantly seeking opportunities to make a difference in Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley and stands ready to respond to the increased demand that we are sure will result from the president's call to action.
We are part of a network of volunteer centers in thousands of communities throughout the nation that are providing countless volunteer opportunities for everyone, including families, businesses, youth and those with disabilities. Individuals 55 years and older are especially invited to use their skills in our community.
The president's call to action comes at a time when millions of Americans are already striving to make a difference in the lives of others. However, there is so much more to be done within our community to make a meaningful and lasting change in the quality of life for all people.
Learn more about local volunteer opportunities or ideas to match your various interests and schedule. Call 300-782-1220 or visit the Volunteer Center of Youngstown/Mahoning Valley located in the Volunteer Services Agency at 5500 Market Street, Suite 106, Youngstown.
X The writer is program director for the Volunteer Center of Youngstown/Mahoning County.
Might as well pour the $26 mill down a rat hole
Pardon me, but is the only justification for building an arena the possible loss of $26 million?
It would save everyone a lot of time and trouble if we could find a rat hole that needs to be filled and pour the entire $26 mill down it. I'll even spring for a small plaque that reads something like, "OK, already! So we kept the money in the Valley!"