Here’s to all the volunteers!

While we continue to get bombarded by blasts from the highly visible Presidential hopefuls and the TV screens show horrific pictures from war ravaged parts of the world and showing in Texas busloads of children being shuttled from shelter to shelter in a highly controversial case involving the state versus a polygamist sect there remains a part of our society that works basically behind the scenes to better conditions; volunteers.

The dictionary definition of a volunteer “is someone who works for free for a community or for the benefit of natural environment primarily because they choose to do so.

The word comes from Latin and can be translated as ‘will’ (as in doing something out of ones own free will). Many serve through a non-profit organization-sometimes referred to as formal volunteering, but a significant number also serve less formally, either individually or as part of a group.

By definition, a volunteer worker does not get paid or receive compensation for services rendered other than reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses”.

In our area of the country small towns and villages dot the map and by and large these towns and villages don’t have the financial structures to operate all of the programs and activities that make these places extremely livable.

For example, most libraries depend upon volunteers, after school programs and booster clubs for the schools are also heavily reliant upon volunteers. Of course we are all familiar with clubs like the Rotary clubs, The Lions clubs, and the Kiwanis organizations who, staffed by volunteers, do tremendous things in their communities. And don’t forget the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, The Cub Scouts and Brownie Girl Scouts; all operating mainly with volunteer help.

This evening I’m covering the local area Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Awards and Volunteer Appreciation Dinner. The restaurant will be full of folks who have, and will, continue to volunteer for a variety of things like working in the visitors’ center or volunteering at the local health clinic or spending time on beautification projects in the area.

I could write a long list of volunteer projects I’ve witnessed and I’m sure each of you could also point out many things and services that volunteers have done in your community so I’d like to take a moment and remind all of us that despite the sometimes bizarre and unbelievable things going on in the world today here, where we live, our friends and neighbors who have volunteered have made this a great place to live. Thanks volunteers, here’s to you!

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Rick Schultze

A few years ago at a writers conference held in the central Oregon coast town of Yachats, where I live, I listened to the late Ken Kesey, a frequent visitor to the area, tell a writer that this could be a hard place to write. “If you think you can sit there staring at the ocean for inspiration you’re wrong, it’s not out there, it’s in your head!” He was right; it is beautiful here in Lincoln County, the kind of beauty that makes concentrating on anything else tough and since hearing that insight, I’ve written at a desk facing a wall, no windows opening onto a ocean view, although I have one, but it’s worked. I’ve done, and do, different kinds of writing. As a freelance writer I’ve been a observational columnist, a humor columnist, a book and music reviewer for newspapers, magazines, and online. However, as a creative writer, my heart belongs to fiction. In that genre I do short stories, road adventure stories, musical adventure tales, and in current production, are three small novels. So really the purpose of this web site is to give you a glance of some of the things I’ve done, a preview of what’s coming, and hopefully, a view of what it’s like to be a writer living in a small town on the Oregon coast!