We went through another flood.
My heart goes out to those affected. Cleaning up after any of these events is daunting. Having a house full of mud and water is unimaginable.
Amid this tragedy, we see some of the best Americans, people who stand up for their neighbors and total strangers in their need. Some risked their own lives in water rescues. Others helped with the tidying up or strengthened themselves with warm meals and donations. Americans have volunteered their time, talent, and money to help those in need.
After the floods in 2016, our high school soccer team volunteered to help clean up, distribute food and cleaning products to those affected. People drove hundreds of kilometers to help. They showed up at the distribution center and reported to the state police officer responsible for the question. “Where can we help?” She made them work. Trucks came from abroad, full of much-needed donated supplies.
Our church was near the floodplain and became a volunteer abode. Parishioners made sure they were well fed. Churches hundreds of miles away sent supplies to our church without knowing where else to send them. We were able to forward them to other churches in the flooded area for distribution. Volunteers worked long hours to help those in need. The Americans do that.
Growing up with our parents taught us the importance of giving. Both of my parents came from large families. When one of our relatives moved, everyone came to help. Our reward was fellowship and good food when we finished.
My father was a carpenter and worked a lot for people in poor areas who couldn’t afford to pay. They have always been grateful and fed us well.
The tradition of giving continues in our family to this day. When Lynnda and I bought our first house, it needed a roof. My five brothers drove to Michigan from Pittsburgh to put it on. You were the brain since most of them are under construction. I was a worker.
All of our children grew up with an attitude to serve others. They continue to volunteer and set an example for their children and others.
My experience is in the energy industry. Voluntaryism was the norm, even though the sales force worked long hours. Helping others is the right thing to do. Corporations did not give money to the communities they were in for advertising because there was little. Only those directly involved knew.
I worked on a project in the Columbia Gas Building in Charleston for several years. I learned early on that you didn’t want to come into the building at 4:30 pm because everyone was storming out. I assumed they were in a hurry to get home. What I learned was that many were rushing to volunteer.
They volunteered for Junior Achievement, helped children read, coached sports teams, and many other things. You weren’t paid. They did it because they had talents and time that they wanted to share. Many small energy companies donated money to help the less fortunate eat during a very difficult year.
Whenever there was a public hearing on an oil and gas issue, it has been “Duck” would go into effect. One of their standard lines was: “It’s all about the money.” I would laugh because they had no idea. Oil and gas are not alone, the petrochemical and manufacturing industries are similar in their concern for people and communities. American industry is learning what the volunteers always knew. We need to take care of the people and the communities in which we work and live. We don’t always hear about the good things people and companies do.
There are far more people who volunteer and help others than stealing or committing violent crimes.
We know the lead story is rarely about volunteering in the news.
The pandemic has been with us for a year. We have heard just a few of the many stories from people who help others. Young people delivered food and medicine to older people who couldn’t get out. Others donated and delivered food to people in need. Some people ran online programs during the bans to provide people with joy, entertainment, and social interaction. We can all probably think of many kind acts and donations during the pandemic. People voluntarily donate their time, talent, and money to help others.
I have the privilege of working with a group of successful business and community leaders at Shale Crescent USA. You volunteer countless hours for the mission to bring high-wage jobs back to our region and to improve the standard of living of the people who live here.
They are all leaders on theirs “Day jobs” that demands your attention. Somehow they find a way to do both. You are excited about Shale Crescent USA’s mission. Lynnda, my wife, says it best “You are being consumed by (the mission of) Shale Crescent.” Maybe that’s why we see success. We have the opportunity to change people’s lives in very positive ways.
In these challenging times, it is easy to think of everything that is wrong. It’s easy to miss what’s right with America and our churches. Americans give caring people. Our communities are full of people who willingly give their time and talents. You don’t get paid. Many give their own money for the purposes for which they volunteer. Most do not seek or want recognition. They do what they do because they can and it is the right thing to do. We are blessed to be around people. You deserve our recognition. Thank you to a volunteer today. For them it’s not about the money.
Greg Kozera, firstname.lastname@example.org, is the director of marketing and sales at Shale Crescent USA. He is a professional engineer with a Masters in Environmental Engineering and has over 40 years of experience in the energy industry. He is the author of four books and numerous published articles.
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