Evolving Peace

A site that is progressing for the goal of everlasting peace within ourselves, our family, our friends, our country and our planet !

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Giving Blood to Your Community

An old college gym packed with folks of all types patiently waited to donate blood this past Monday in Montpelier. Myself have become a regularly blood donor on part of my new found desire of community service. But as I patiently waited on the long line I began to notice that I did not recognize a single soul. Having become very actively involved in politics around Montpelier I was shocked that I was not seeing people I knew. It seems to me that although I am new to Montpelier (since May), it seems that every where I go I know someone from the political campaigns. No matter where it is, whether it’s a stroll through Hubbard Park, shopping at Hunger Mountain Food Coop or grabbing a bite to eat at Positive Pie 2, it’s an oddity if I do not bump into someone.(Just to give credit I saw State Treasurer Jeb Spaulding out of the corner of me eye while I was giving blood.)

So I began to reflect on the elements from the campaign of Matt Dunne for LT. Governor. Matt’s innovative approach was to connect politics within the realm of community service. While my blood was flowing out of my vein, I saw first hand the disconnection between politics and community service. I recently wrote to Matt and expressed my gratitude for giving me the opportunity to volunteer on his campaign, while I tirelessly worked on many other campaigns I left with feelings of accomplishment from my involvement with Matt. Picking potatoes at Food Works at Two Rivers Farm, sorting food at the Vermont Food Bank, cleaning the Passumpsic River and constructing a bike path at North Branch Park gave me a sense of purpose much greater than holding a sign on the corner of Main Street in Barre.

I for one have had some community service in the past but not as much as I wished I had. During my college years, I participated in clothes drives for the underprivileged, litter cleanup and even played Santa for a local animal rescue organization, but for years I had removed myself from any such service not because I just did not care but because I just did not connect with those who did. Years progressed and I became friends with the President of the Saddle River Valley(NJ) Lions Club, Jim Murphy. Upon persistent coaxing by Jim he got me to volunteer for their annual Spring Carnival. Now of course I was somewhat hesitant but it was for charity, so I joined in. I had a blast and wound up doing it for a couple more days and then every year afterward. Now not all community service projects are fun but they can be and it leaves you with a sense of pride.

So the act of giving blood is something simple and does not require a lot of time or effort. I feel so passionate about the issue of having affordable medical care that at least I can do is give my part to those in need of medical assistance. Those of us involved in political issues tend to bitch and complain about the unfavorable conditions we see while there are those out there participating in their community and making a difference. So campaigns such as Matt Dunne’s not only politicize the issues they attempt to rectify them first hand.

In Washington, President Bush has initiated his Faith Based Initiative as a method to spur community outreach from churches. Many of the community service orientated projects do come from religious organization, but I feel the program crosses the line with the separation of church and state. Churches do have a positive impact on communities and many church members are good hearted individuals. So as a way to balance there needs to be governmental programs that encourage civic mindedness. That starts with you and me because “if you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem.”

To those like me on the left we have to come together and do our part. To answer the critics from the right, government must represent us all, for as a society we are only as strong as the weakest parts of our society. So as the last drops of blood drained out of my vein, I realized that we as a society must come together and express ourselves and participate in the overall health of our communities.

Robb Kidd

“One is not born into this world to do everything but to do something” Henry David Thoreau.


Post a Comment

<< Home