New Rockford Transcript - Official Newspaper of Eddy County since 1883

This holiday, consider giving the gift of your time


December 2, 2019

Volunteering is the ONE way to make a BIG investment in your community without spending a DIME. All you need is a little TIME.

The value of that “little time” is more than you might think, too. Volunteers are worth on average $24.14 an hour according to an Independent Sector Study.

When you think about it that way, if every resident in Eddy County volunteered for just one hour, the value of that time would be more than $55,000. That’s quite a boost for any rural economy. Add to that the impact it will have on the community, and you’ve got an influx of social capital that is truly priceless.

Readers, I challenge each of you to make one volunteer commitment in the next 30 days. Wondering where to start? Here are a few ways you can start making a difference right here in the community, right now, just in time for the season of giving.

Help kids wrap gifts during the Eddy County Sheriff’s Office’s Shop with the Sheriff event on Thursday, Dec. 12. The time commitment is about two hours and is a great opportunity to interact with youth. For more details, call Bill Beals at 947-5515.

Serve as one of Santa’s elves (you don’t even need to wear a suit, Santa hats are provided!) The New Rockford Chamber of Commerce and Lions Club are co-sponsoring the annual Santa Day carnival this Saturday, Dec. 7. from 2 - 4 p.m. Volunteers are needed to sell tickets, run carnival games and help kids pick out items from Santa’s Shop. Extra hands are also needed for set-up on Thursday, Dec. 5 beginning at 7 p.m. The time commitment is two to three hours. To help, call Kelly at Bakers Dozen, (701) 947-2359.

While at Santa Day, be on the look out for 9-year-old Oakley Brazil, the youngest volunteer. He’ll be accompanied by mother Rachel Brazil and handing out a special surprise to all the kids who visit Santa during the event. He will be on special assignment for the Transcript and will write all about his first volunteer experience.

If you enjoy reading and have computer skills, consider volunteering at the Eddy-New Rockford Library. Librarian Susie Sharp needs substitute help when she is sick or out of town, and could use volunteers to shelve books after they are returned and weed books from the collection to make room for new titles. Call Susie at 947-5540 to lend a hand.

Share a fun hobby with others. If you have a special skill, consider sharing what you know with youth. As a leader for one of Eddy County’s 4-H Clubs, I am always looking for learning opportunities for our members.

One great example of this was when Sarah Smith Warren led a fun photography session with our kiddos a couple of years ago. The time commitment is about one hour (plus any prep time). It’s a great way to show what you know with others!

Clear snow from a neighbor’s driveway, or put up Christmas lights for someone who loves to make their home look festive but may not be physically able to do so.

After each measurable snowfall, I am amazed at the number of people who help their relatives, friends and neighbors get cleaned out. I am equally surprised by the number of uncleared sidewalks and cars buried in snow along the streets days later. A little kindness goes a long way.

If you simply have no time to give this holiday season, defer that one hour commitment into the new year. There are numerous opportunities to give time for local causes at any time of year. Paint a set, help fit actors for costumes or usher at a show for the Dakota Prairie Regional Center for the Arts. Check out their Facebook page, Volunteers for DPRCA, for more information.

CHI Health at Home is looking for volunteers to visit with hospice patients in their home, apartment or long term care facility. Social worker Cindy Willey says that the experience is best characterized as “friendly visiting” with hospice patients. Some volunteers help them write letters or record their life history, meanwhile offering support and encouragement. Willey added that veterans are especially coveted volunteers, as CHI staff purposefully match them with patients who are veterans so the pairs can relate to each other in a meaningful way.

Hospice volunteers also prepare mailings and do other clerical work as needed for the organization. Some even make twin-size quilts for the patients. “They definitely impact the lives of our patients and our families,” Willey says of the volunteers. The time commitment varies and can be based upon your schedule. For more information on how you can volunteer with CHI Health at Home, call Cindy or Susanne at 1-855-860-3464.

The Central North Dakota Steam Threshers Reunion at the Eddy County Fairgrounds would not be possible without volunteer support. Again, anyone is welcome to spend as little as two hours (or as much as you want) volunteering during the September show. A lot of behind the scenes work goes on throughout the year as well for people with a variety of talents. Contact any CNDSTR member and offer your time.

New Rockford also has both an active Lions Club and Eagles Club, two worldwide service organizations. There are several other local organizations active in our community as well, all looking for members with similar interests and a desire to give of their time. The New Rockford city website has a complete list. Go to and click the “Organizations” tab on the left navigation bar. A list of the key members, officers and/or directors are provided as well, so find someone you know and ask them how you can get involved in their club or organization.

If you are new to town, I welcome you to stop by the Transcript office. I’d be glad to welcome you to the community and have a chat about where your talents and interests would fit. There is certainly something for everyone.

To all you seasoned volunteers, I have a challenge for you too: Take a moment to invite someone new to a volunteer experience this holiday season. This is especially important if you feel overwhelmed by the large amount of work to be done and the little time you have to give. And if someone approaches you and asks how he or she can get involved in an organization, take some time to ask what their interests and time commitment are, and find a way to include them.

Remember, no matter how “little time” you have, you can make a difference. In the words of Desmond Tutu, “Do your little bit of good where you are; It’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”


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