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HomeColumns, Opinions & Misc.Comfy Chair: Helping has its own reward

Comfy Chair: Helping has its own reward

By Joel Vernier

I was taking a little power nap to prepare for a hectic schedule in my day.

When I was fully retired, I thought that my schedule would basically be driven by my passion for napping. Alas, this is not the case.

In the ’70s, my formative years leading to adulthood, I found that I was drawn to being helpful to people, animals, and our environment. I did attend some gatherings on these topics, and to this day, I continue to stop along the road to help a turtle get safely across to the other side.

As life moves along, we all get busy dealing with life and adulthood. My volunteer efforts had to take a back seat as I built my career in Pharmaceuticals. As my daughter grew up, my family enjoyed the 4-H programs. We found ourselves doing a lot to help; this resulted in our being selected as the 4-H Volunteer Family of the year in 2008.

I did join the Knights of Columbus in 2003 and found that they are so much more than Bingo and Fish Dinner people. At many national tragedies, the Knights of Columbus is on the ground quickly helping. 911, the K of C was first to hand out checks to families of the first responders, the list is long.

After retirement, I soon became the Grand Knight of Council 5280 that helps so many local charities. Then I became involved with the Sacred Heart Mission; I served as Board President for 6 years. The mission helps our community in so many ways. The retail store provides so many with clothing and affordable household items. They also help working in tandem with many other support groups to provide food, heat in the winter, and many ways.

I began to learn that we have many groups in our community that support people and give them a hand up to make their lives better, more manageable. Many are volunteer groups, church groups, social groups that help in many ways, and we never hear about them. In addition, there are so many organizations that help with institutional and government funding to improve the lives of people in our community. The reason I’m bringing this to everyone’s attention is that if we are involved, more good things can happen!

I’m currently serving on Mid-Michigan Community Action Board. They help people from the cradle to the grave: Pre-school programs, food distribution, helping many lower-income people in many ways, from doing taxes to weatherizing their homes. I also serve on the Region 7 Area Agency on Aging Board, which focuses on the elderly and help in so many ways, providing in home vaccinations, help with medical needs and other personal needs of the elderly, teaming locally with the Gladwin County Council on Aging. As a Gladwin County Commissioner, I also served on several boards, including: Central Michigan health Department, Central Michigan Community Mental Health, Gladwin County Health Services Coordinating Board.

I am currently serving as the Secord Township Supervisor. My goal is not to shine a light on myself or my involvement in our community but to shine a light on just some of the many organizations helping people.

I’m asking that you consider finding the time to be involved. If we all do a little, a lot will be accomplished. There is more to life than working, housekeeping, staring at our phones, tablets, and Binge watching tv shows. Helping people is a reward within itself!

“Remember, every day is a gift! Some are just a little more fun to open than others. – © Joel M. Vernier 06/16/2021 Author of: “The Guinea Pig in The Freezer.” joelmvernier@aol.com

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