In the coming months, the Board may be pressed to solicit volunteers from within our community to help take care of tasks or projects that fall outside of the annual budget. This is not unusual, and it has happened before. Believe it or not, things get done around here that matter to everyone, even the minutia. Most people have no idea who is doing that which must get done, and no one asks questions. We have an Annual Meeting at the end of the month; we have asked for volunteers to help with the proceedings. We provide food, but we did not hire a catering crew. It’s an unnecessary expense, one that would have made Ralph Waldo Emerson blanch? Who’s he? He was a great American transcendentalist who scripted a way of life in an essay entitled “Self-Reliance”. Without ever reading it, you can probably ascertain the substance of it from the title. We buy the food, but somebody has to set it out. That would be a volunteer — or two, or three — from our community.
FFHA runs on an exceedingly tight budget. It requires that every penny be scrutinized; there is precious little room for waste. There have always been certain individuals who take it upon themselves to provide, in many instances, manual labor to achieve an end that may have otherwise cost Fairview Forest money it did not have to spend. We have had an annual Green Space cleanup day. This year it didn’t happen, there was no pressing need. Apparently over the years we’ve removed most of the detritus that got pitched over the hillsides. Somebody cared. It was a volunteer.
It’s a volunteer who braves the snowstorm to report on road conditions, even though any person could walk down to check the road at the end of his or her driveway and pass along that information. Nevertheless we seem to expect that someone else, that same volunteer, will head out in a vehicle risking safety just so we know without a shadow of a doubt what the conditions are.
There is trash on the side of the road. How did it get there? Who in their right mind throws trash out the window of a moving vehicle? It takes real conviction to be a litterbug. But then in a day or so the trash is gone. Someone actually stopped in their pursuits long enough to retrieve the trash and dispose of it properly. We don’t know who these people are, but they know who they are. It is a selfless act of volunteerism, and it is greatly appreciated. We need more of it. A limb falls in the road, move it out of the road. Leaves in the culverts, we can wait for the scheduled maintenance, or maybe Mother Nature will rush through in a fury, or if you’ve got a blower, a little time and energy, and some moral capital, then you know what can be done.
We can all think about the needs of Fairview Forest, and we can all look to someone else to take care of things. But if you are able-bodied and can spare a bit of free time, then perhaps you are just the person to step in and lend a hand.