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Most of us can find good excuses for breaking any New Year's resolutions we may have made - and mine is physical disability.

It's not that I have been very physically active in the last several years, but over the holidays I compounded my ailing-back-syndrome and thus postponed "getting back to some activities (including Silver Sneakers exercise)" that I was doing before my forced inactivity during summer and early fall.

No need to go into detail; it is sufficient to admit that in an effort to enhance my limited physical ability, I actually worsened it. Now, I hope I'm moving a bit in the right direction.

To that end, I attended a Woman's Club committee meeting last week and was surprised to hear one of our newer members reveal that when she moved to Dawson County, she had to seek out opportunities for volunteer service. And here I have been always urging people to volunteer for many needed and interesting volunteer jobs with nonprofit organizations.

Well, of course residents new to the area may not subscribe immediately to our local papers - I definitely advise that. This young lady did a smart thing: she went to the library. One can also go the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce; nowadays one can also check online at and download 32 organizations with volunteer opportunities.

Naturally, after she found the Woman's Club, an entire world opened up - as it will with connections to other club and church groups. Not only can you stay as busy as you like, you can perform worthwhile services and meet wonderful people.

Some of these require a bit of financial investment, but mostly it is time and effort that is needed.

Sometimes that time and effort is expended in fundraising to support even more service organizations.

For instance, you could pay or find someone else to sponsor brave souls willing to "go jump in the lake."

Leap for Literacy will occur on Feb. 18, and the money raised will be used to buy and distribute books through the WEE Books Program to children five and under; each child registered in the program receives a book monthly through the mail. Parents (or other adults or siblings) do the reading, and the child builds a home library as he/she learns the benefits of reading. For more information, call (706) 216-0173.

Our Dawson County Senior Center offers not only chances to volunteer, but more especially chances to learn all sorts of things and to enjoy fellowship while spending little or nothing. So does the library and the Bowen Center for the Arts.

More physically skilled people can find a host of ways to participate and to volunteer through the county's parks and recreation department. Animal lovers can help at the Humane Society.

For all sorts of people, the RIC Rack is a blessing - both to give and to take.

A true "helping hand" for ones in need of food, clothing, furniture, etc., this former church building on Hwy. 9 North is also a shopping place and an opportunity to serve as a volunteer. Don't overlook it.

I have written many times about these and other Dawson County opportunities, but perhaps someone reading this column has not yet checked them out.

Just because age and infirmity has somewhat sidelined me, that does not prevent my encouraging others to get out and avail themselves of all this county has to offer.

Helen Taylor's column appears periodically in the Dawson Community News.