Volunteerism and a Stronger Marietta

Written by Judith Kennedy
In Mark Herman’s inspiring essay in the last Marietta Traveler, “Marietta Fireworks: Building a Legacy of Community Service”, he reflects over the course of his life and focuses on the things he is most proud of, namely, community service. He writes, “I am still excited about being able to serve alongside some incredible people who are fully committed to keeping Marietta Fireworks a vital part of the local community.” He calls for more volunteers who would be “properly trained and prepared” along with the need for fundraising. He says, “It truly does take a village.”
Some have said that volunteerism is “the glue that holds a community together” and “the best homeland security is knowing one’s neighbors”. Working side by side with another person with a similar desire to help the community is one of the best ways to form community bonds. The benefits of doing so are many.
Volunteerism, regardless of age, includes new skill building and learning through volunteer trainings; the saving of Borough and community organization resources; friendship building; multi-generational connections versus isolation; stress reduction, and mental and physical wellbeing; a sense of hope; fun and creativity; and, the experience of joining with others to make a difference in Marietta.
Many of us believe we don’t have the time or the energy to volunteer. Some seniors and parents of young children believe they have nothing to offer. However, small things make a big difference with volunteering. Even a few hours every few months around special events can make a big difference. Recently, on the Marietta Borough Shade Tree Commission volunteer tree planting day along the trail, family groups and individuals helped plant 175 trees within two hours during one morning. Young and old had a common experience of meaningful efforts to enhance the wellbeing of the forest along with a growing sense of community.
Marietta is enhanced by all of the following groups: The Marietta Special Fire Police, the Marietta Pioneer Fire Company, Marietta Fireworks, Marietta Restoration Associates, the Marietta Shade Tree Commission Tree Planting and Preservation Days; the Marietta Community House; Marietta Business Association, the Beautification Committee; the American Legion, the Lions Club, church groups, meditation groups. And this list is not exhaustive. All these groups are looking for volunteers. These groups are the glue of the Marietta Community
For a listing of some of Marietta’s Community Organizations go to Community Organizations. Some organizations like the Marietta Community House have a link to their website with contact information. There is an effort underway to make it easier for citizens to see what volunteer opportunities exist, to identify their interests and skills, and to connect with community organizations.