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Less time for service

Service organizations seem to be fewer and fewer in this time-cruncher of a world we live in today.

Like many of us, I remember my childhood where a number of clubs and service organizations sponsored Dixie Youth sports teams, clubs like Rotary, Sertoma, Lions, Jaycees, VFW and American Legion to name just a few.

People seemed to find more time to volunteer in those days, and I read recently where one reason for the growth of service organizations, particularly after World War II, was the desire of returning veterans to serve what and who they fought for.

Let’s face it, the camaraderie one finds in clubs and service organizations is not unlike the bond found among military units, so it was logical veterans would gravitate toward those clubs.

In times before paved roads, automobiles and cell phones, rural residents met and exchanged news at three places: churches, schools and the country store.

Those experiences must have influenced generations before mine, but things have changed, with technology ironically making less time available for people to volunteer their services both individually and as part of a club.

As a former Rotarian, I know the sacrifices one has to make in order to volunteer.

I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent as part of Rotary, whose motto, “Service Above Self” can apply to most any service organization.

I had to drop out when the group decided to meet at lunchtime rather than at the dinner hour, because that meant I had to be out of the office at noon (Tuesday) on a press day.

That wasn’t going to
happen, at least for me.

At any rate I applaud those service organizations and clubs that do remain, and I applaud their efforts in serving the community.

Everyone has heard of the Jeff Nelson Memorial Golf Tournament, an annual event presented for many years by the South Boston Jaycees, and the Embarq-Mental Health Golf Tournament to name just two worthwhile endeavors.

In this age of the 24-hour news cycle, Internet and social media, the camaraderie fostered by clubs, service organizations and other volunteer groups doesn’t seem to be as important or needed.

But, their commitment to helping their fellow man is needed now more than ever, in my humble opinion.

I was at the Jeff Nelson Memorial last Friday, and from personal experience I can tell you the fellowship and good natured ribbing among the golfers was evident, and as always, it was for a good cause.

I don’t do enough to volunteer my services, and I can understand those who are tied down with work and family responsibilities.

For those who do, you have my respect and gratitude.