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9/18 Editorial: Spark change with service and good will

Communities should join Virginia's Day to Serve

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Communities across the Commonwealth have begun participating in Virginia's Day to Serve initiative and our local communities should be involved as well.

The effort, which first began last year, is running from September 15-29 and encourages Virginians to participate in service projects or volunteerism that helps their neighbors, communities, and environment.

"Last year's Day to Serve was a tremendous success, and I trust this year's events will build on that success," said Governor Bob McDonnell. "I am continually inspired by the commitment and generosity Virginians show toward each other, each day but particularly through events like Day to Serve."

The Governor went on to say that service during this initiative can be through either time, food, or funds.

Any of those donations can benefit your community, while at the same time you can be a part of a movement to transform America through the involvement of its citizens.

The recent tragedy at the Navy Yard in Washington D.C. showcases an ugly side of this country and brings to light many questions and concerns that can either divide or unite. It's up to us to allow it to unite us.

Sometimes it does take a tragedy to inspire us to give.

There are other reasons that should motivate you as well. Research shows that volunteers enjoy better health, make new friends, stay active, and learn new skills.

Volunteers also save organizations money that can be used to address other critical needs in your community.

This year's Day to Service initiative should be a reminder of what those critical needs are in your area.

There are lots of ways to get involved and it doesn't just have to be during these two weeks. If your stumped, here are a few suggestions:

• Organize a neighborhood clean up or Adopt-a-Highway

• Research volunteer opportunities with New Kent's Habitat for Humanity

• Volunteer or donate items to either the Regional Animal Shelter in King William or the New Kent Humane Society

• Donate to a local food pantry like the one at Cornerstone Community Center in Aylett

• Spend some time at a local senior center (there are two in King William – Upper Senior Center in Aylett or the Middle King William Senior Center on Route 30)

• Contact Bay Aging for multiple volunteer or donation opportunities, including Meals on Wheels delivery

• Donate to King William's non-profit group Good Karma – check them out on Facebook or call 804-994-8742

• Contact King William Emergency Ministries – it's almost time for their Christmas collection and sponsorships 804-769-2968

• Other local organizations, like the YMCA in West Point, participate in programs throughout the year, especially around the holidays

Remember, you can always contact your community's Social Services Department and ask what is needed in your area.

There are currently around 150 events specifically registered for the Day to Serve initiative across the Commonwealth. A full list can be found at http://www.daytoserve.org/virginia.

You could spark some real change in your community because of your service and good will, so make your community proud and get to work!

Share your Day to Serve events with the Tidewater Review at mail@tidewaterreview.com or via Twitter @TidewaterReview or Facebook.