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Volunteers boost services

KATHRYN YARBRO
Guest columnist

How many of us actually give thought to the many volunteers who contribute untold hours to works that benefit others?
I can’t count the services that help others and contribute to our healthy lifestyle because they are boosted by volunteers.
Some of these volunteers are never recognized as many of us don’t know they exist.
For instance, without volunteers the Lincoln County Christian Ministry would not be able to offer daily meals and other aid to the hundreds who seek help from the service.
Lincoln County’s Habitat for Humanity has helped numerous citizens become homeowners all because some contributed money and others gave many working hours to build houses for them.
We have so many men, women and young people giving time to help others. These are people who do not seek recognition. So much need and so many ways to be involved.
Driving by the well-kept Memorial Hall with its well-groomed garden is another chance to learn about the work of volunteers.
The historic building was made to house a private academy. In 1816, the General Assembly authorized four acres for the school, which was constructed of handmade bricks and opened in 1820.
There’s much history written about this building and its students, many became influential figures as governors and generals who served in the Confederate Army.
Pleasant Retreat closed in 1878 and afterward was used as a private residence, a girl’s school and a Masonic Lodge until 1908 when United Daughters of the Confederacy leased the structure as a depository for Civil War artifacts.
Around 1925, Lincolnton’s first public lending library was housed on the first floor until 1965 and the UDC has since maintained Pleasant Retreat Academy.
It’s now listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a meeting hall. Think of the years of work it has taken to keep this building and its garden well-tended, and most of it has been done by volunteers.
There are too many to mention here, but where would we be without the volunteers to support clubs, civic groups, fund-raisers for research, help the needy and keep the pantry filled with food for the hungry?
These volunteers make a big difference in our lives. They’re our friends, relatives, neighbors and business associates.
These volunteers show up again and again where there’s a need. They expect no pay, but the rewards are rich.
So when you meet a volunteer (and you will, as they are everywhere) tell them that you appreciate their role in making our community a better place to live.
Kathryn Yarbro is former managing editor of the Lincoln Times-News.

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