President Obama has declared the April 10-16 as National Volunteer Week, continuing a tradition that he and every President since Gerald Ford has upheld since 1974.

An effort spearheaded by the Points of Light Foundation, National Volunteer Week is about inspiring, recognizing and encouraging people to seek out imaginative ways to engage in their communities. It’s about demonstrating to our community and the nation that by working together, we have the fortitude to meet our challenges and accomplish our goals.

In short, National Volunteer Week was created to recognize the efforts and accomplishments of volunteers as well as to encourage more Americans to join them.

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Here in Summit there is no shortage of volunteer organizations that serve our community in a variety of ways. And we are fortunate to have good neighbors willing to donate their time to support those organizations. Each of these volunteer groups shares the need for the one thing that keeps them going; more volunteers. For those new to Summit, volunteering is an excellent way to meet neighbors and get to know the community. Those of us who have been involved for some time find that it’s quite common to see a familiar face involved in more than 1 volunteer effort. Some consider it a Summit tradition.

Of the many groups I’ve been honored to serve over the past 30 years, none exemplifies the true spirit of volunteerism more than the Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad. These neighbors helping neighbors serve the community 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and are 100% volunteer. So this week, why not celebrate Volunteerism by thanking a volunteer, or better yet, consider becoming one.

The writer has been an active volunteer with several Summit organizations for more than 30 years, has served as President of the Board of Health, a volunteer firefighter, PTO President, President, Captain and currently Public Information Officer for the Summit First Aid Squad.