’Tis the season to serve

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Commentary Nancy Edwards

Despite stress during the holidays, or other times of the year for that matter, I’ve noticed that I tend to minimize or forget about problems while volunteering.

Getting up early on a Sunday morning is not exactly a fun thing to do for someone who’s a night owl, yet when I arrive at Petsmart, shuffle to the cat section and see the beautiful felines staring back at me through windows, I can’t help but smile.

“Hey, kitties!” I greet them, and they perk up and stretch in return, anxious for an hour to play outside their cages while I feed them and clean their temporary homes.

There are many phenomenal volunteers in our community. While attending the Water Is Life Charity Ball recently, there were at least 150 individuals present who were more than happy to support the efforts of the Fishers Rotary Club’s annual event to raise money for people living in Sierra Leone, Africa, who need access to clean water. So far, the Rotary Club has raised money for 88 wells, which has saved about 87,500 lives! As videos were shown of Sierra Leone residents celebrating and guests from the area in Africa spoke into the microphone at the event, it was hard to find a dry eye in the room. The Rotary Club is rapidly approaching its goal of providing 100 wells to residents, thanks to the many selfless individuals giving their time and money for a lifesaving cause.

Another Fishers resident deserving exceptional credit is Courtney Cooley, a very grateful and hardworking mother to two beautiful little girls, Allie and Lilly, who have both been treated at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St.Vincent. Cooley does not just say “thank you” to the physicians that have helped her girls and move on. She gives back to the hospital by organizing an annual fundraiser called 5k Family Fun Run, a race approaching its third year in April 2014. Her girls have inherited their mom’s generous spirit as well; they look forward to providing a fun Halloween for kids while they stay at the hospital. Allie and Lilly love to pick out toys and cupcakes for their new friends each year.

What are you passionate about doing? There is a role and a place in the greater Indianapolis area for anyone who wishes to volunteer their time. Try nonprofits, hospitals, churches or schools. Still stuck? Visit www.volunteermatch.org and see what comes up.

Happy Holidays!

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