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Participation in the local community is important
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If you attended the annual meeting of the Dawson County Homeowners Civic Association, you don't need to read this column. However, not many of you were there.

Of course, I know that some of the woman's club members who normally attend were busy at the installation of the new president of 9th District GFWC, our own Barbara Reynolds.

Congratulations Barbara, you will be a great leader.

Others who might have been at that meeting were probably doing equally important things. But the majority of county residents just think that such activities are for other people, not me, or didn't think about it at all.

Therein lies a problem: Too many just don't want to participate, or think doing volunteer jobs is not "my cup of tea."

Former commissioner Bill Saling (whom I like, but didn't always agree with) aptly summed it up in one word - apathy. I agree.

Although Saling was encouraging people to run for local office (commissioner, for example) I'm simply prodding them to learn more about what goes on in their county and how they may participate. It amazes me to find intelligent, congenial, active people who don't even realize, for example, that we have an art center or advisory boards. If they subscribed to the local papers, they would know more about all those things - but those who don't are not reading this. You tell them.

You may know that the DCHCA's Mike Brown "I Care" Award went to Carolyn Bowen for work with the Dawson County Humane Society.

Congratulations and thanks, Carolyn.

Speakers at that gathering represented some of the county's various boards and commissions, both advisory and policy-making, all important to the county's quality of life. How do people become part of those boards? They are appointed by the board of commissioners.

How do these commissioners know whom to appoint? Well, they might live in the same neighborhood or attend the same church or have a friend who knows someone who would do a good job with, say, the parks and rec board.

Chances are, however, that they see people who are out doing something with some activity -working with children, holding a leadership position in an organization, volunteering in a meaningful way, such as at RIC-Rack. Often those are busy people who really are not looking for another non-paying job.

But where else can Mike Berg look?

As most of my readers know, I have long been a promoter for volunteerism. And I did my share when I was able and - yes, enjoyed it. Even though I can't do those things anymore, I can encourage you to step forward to help in whatever field interests you, or for which you may have some talent.

Perhaps you won't be asked to serve on a prestigious board, but you might enjoy being of service. You might find some interesting new friends or discover a talent you didn't realize you had. You may even accomplish something good just by being a part of an organization.

After all, it was the homeowners association who started the ball rolling, and kept pushing it, which ended in the Georgia Legislature's bill on the "sludge issue."

Thanks, Jane Graves and Kevin Tanner.

Did you just raise your hand to volunteer?

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