Our Opinion: Spectrum of volunteerism on display

One of the blessings of living in our community is the range of volunteerism.

Three separate stories in Saturday’s News Tribune outlined the spectrum of people giving their time, talents and dollars to help people locally, as well as internationally.

The annual gathering of the United Way of Central Missouri offered an opportunity to recognize dedicated volunteers and install leaders who will help guide the future.

Last fall, the community was asked by United Way campaign volunteers to help attain a goal of raising $1.7 million.

The ambitious goal was set by community volunteers who assessed the needs of United Way partner agencies and programs, and determined the amount needed to provide needed health and human services.

As a result of the combined effort, the goal not only was met, it was exceeded by $50,000.

One of those United Way agencies also was a beneficiary of a successful Share the Harvest Program, sponsored by the Central Missouri Chapter of Safari Club International.

The program announced Central Missouri deer hunters donated 19,600 pounds of venison to be processed and distributed to area food pantries.

Processing fees were paid by the local Safari Club chapter and the Conservation Federation of Missouri.

Eight area processors participated and people will be served through more than a dozen area charities.

Reaching far beyond Central Missouri is HALO Foundation, which was founded by former Jefferson City resident Rebecca Neuenswander Welsh.

HALO is the acronym for Helping Art Liberate Orphans and the nonprofit group aids 11 orphanages in Uganda, Kenya, Mexico, India and Nicaragua. In the U.S., Halo also supports programs and art therapy for at-risk youth.

Helping the needy, the hungry and young people here and abroad are ongoing efforts made possible by committed, generous volunteers.

They deserve our appreciation and support.

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