Volunteerism offers return on investment

Published 10:25 am Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Seventy-four-year-old Bonnie Fitzpatrick is a perfect example of the fact that volunteers get back as much as they put into their civic work.

The South Point resident was recently honored as the Lawrence County Multi-Purpose Senior Center at Sybene’s Citizen of the Year for volunteering at the center five days a week.

Specifically, Fitzpatrick was lauded for her efforts to keep the craft room going at the center as a way to keep her and her peers active mentally and physically.

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Many have praised Fitzpatrick for her commitment and dedication.

But perhaps the most telling and compelling part of this honor was Fitzpatrick’s own words.

“I have a lot of friends. We’re like family, like sisters.”

So, for this selfless volunteer and those who join her there, the rewards of social interaction and friendship far outweigh any awards or honors.

This is a lesson that seems to be lost on far too many Americans today, living in a society where volunteerism is overlooked and forgotten.

It may be cliche that one person can make a difference, but it is also very true. Just ask the staff and seniors at the Sybene center.

However, one person cannot do it all alone. Each and every citizen can make a positive impact on our communities by following in Fitzpatrick’s footsteps and looking for a way to give back.

“We’re all here with some purpose in life,” she said. “We have to use our bodies and whatever talent God gives us.”