In honor of the anniversary of the signing of the
Declaration of Independence and the founding of the United States of America,
I’d like to offer an opinion on one of the many things that makes this country

• When floods, fires, storms and earthquakes strike,
Americans turn out by the hundreds even thousands to fill sandbags, search for
survivors, raise money, give blood, rebuild homes and more. They do this
without payment.

• In every city and town, young people learn patience,
discipline, teamwork and sportsmanship on neighborhood athletic fields because
caring adults coach t-ball, baseball, soccer, lacrosse and every other sport
imaginable. They do this without payment.

• Lovers of the great outdoors armed with shovels, picks
and saws build and maintain trails so that hikers and bikers can enjoy the
wilderness with friends and family. They do this without payment.

• People with carpentry expertise join together with
people who have no building skills to build and renovate homes for
complete strangers who need a little assistance. They do this without

• It's not limited to individuals either. Companies donate goods and services to those in need. Law firms, CPAs and ad agencies do pro-bono work.

These and countless other acts of generosity and
selflessness too numerous to mention here occur across the United States every single day. When a need
arises and the cause is worthy, Americans will find a way to get any job done. Our greatest natural resource is not found underground or beneath the sea — it’s the American volunteer.

Wherever you are this weekend celebrating the Fourth of
July, pause for a moment to take a look around your community. Chances are good
that a park or trail that you like or someone that you know has benefitted by the volunteer efforts of strangers.
Next time you see an unmet need in your town, consider volunteering to make a difference. It will make you and the community better.


6 Walnut Avenue • Vinton, Virginia 24179

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