Good work, no matter the news

Published 2:57 pm Tuesday, October 27, 2009

One of the reasons this country is great is that during difficult times — during depressions, recessions and wars — most people in this country who volunteer their time, work and money to important causes will continue, or even increase, what they do despite the problems around them, be those problems local or beyond.

Even within the last week, there’s been the devastating news about Franklin’s paper mill, bomb threats at a Suffolk school, fires, flu and more.

Nevertheless, volunteers around Suffolk and the region keep on going, better than ever.

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It goes without saying that volunteer firefighters and rescue squads provide an incredible service. These are people who work 40 or more hours a week and then provide a service to the community that puts their lives in danger.

Of course, the best volunteers this country has are the people who serve in the military. Thanks in part to the inadequate coverage by the networks, evening news and the Associated Press, it’s far too easy to forget that our nation is involved in two wars.

Suffolk has many community groups, civic leagues and churches that are constantly working to make their communities better. It doesn’t get any more grassroots and local — and therefore meaningful — than that. But since it’s those organizations provide one awarded or one meal or after-school tutoring for one student at a time, their work often takes place under the radar.

We’re coming up on the holiday season, making all the United Way’s charities more necessary and more apparent. The many donors to the United Way help, among dozens of other organizations, the Salvation Army, Meals on Wheels, the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Red Cross.

Plenty of volunteers work on stuff that is fun and exciting. Our paper reported on the Swamp Roar motorcycle ride this weekend and reports on numerous golf tournaments.

There are hundreds of people in Suffolk who work to make Bennett’s Creek Little League, Holland Athletic Association, Suffolk Youth Athletic Association, AAU teams, the four Pop Warner football organizations and all sorts of other youth sports opportunities function. Coaches and volunteers give up countless evenings and weekends.

Of course the main point is for kids to have fun and learn lessons from playing sports, but at least most of the time, the adults out there are doing it because they have fun, too.

Fun, charity and sports will all come together Nov. 20 at Lakeland High with “Lady Cavs Hoops for a Cure.” Lakeland is hosting five other girls basketball teams for a tripleheader of preseason, benefit games starting with Ocean Lakes vs. Lakeland at 4 p.m.

The event will raise money for the Susan G. Komen Cancer Fund to fund breast cancer research and education programs.