To volunteer or not to volunteer?

by Airman 1st Class Ciara M. Travis
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Selfless. Honorable. Respectable. These are just a few words that are often used when describing a volunteer.

Kathleen Butler, American Red Cross senior station manager, said volunteering has been noted as one of the most rewarding things a person can do. Luckily, the organizations of the KMC offer hundreds of opportunities to get involved and give back to the community.

Dozens of organizations cover a wide range of services, providing anything from blood donations that support local hospitals as well as service members downrange, to offering travel opportunities to see some of the history-rich country that surrounds the KMC.

One thing in common between these organizations is they are fueled by volunteer efforts of service members and their families. Without volunteers, many organizations would have to cut their offered services or they would cease to exist.

“Volunteering seems to be an American phenomenon,” Ms. Butler said. “I have noticed that people from other countries seem to think we as Americans are a little crazy because we work for free. I take pride in that curiosity because as Americans, no matter how tough the economic times, have a spirit which moves us to help others in need.”

Although this month is designated for volunteer work and recognition, volunteering year-round provides the satisfaction of knowing that hard work spent is helping somebody else in time of need.

“Volunteering year-round helps keep continuity in our community,” said Elizabeth Kennedy, Airman and Family Readiness Center community readiness technician. “When people identify your face as a ‘helping individual,’ it creates a positive outcome for everyone.”

Getting involved in the volunteering community may seem intimidating, but once introduced, it can be fun.

“The neat thing about volunteering is that it’s fun and it’s free,” Ms. Kennedy said. “Volunteering in the KMC is great because there are so many volunteer opportunities around here. Not to mention — volunteering really gives you the chance to get to know your community and possibly even get an employment opportunity out of it. All ages are welcome and getting started is easy.”

Below Is A List of Organizations In The KMC That Accept Volunteers:
86th Youth Sports Program
86th Youth Community Program
Air Force Education Office
Air Force Junior ROTC
Air Force Sergeants Association
Airman and Family Readiness Center
Armed Forces Against Drunk Driving
American Red Cross
Blood Bank
Boy Scouts
Ramstein Chapel (North side)
Civil Air Patrol
Community Centers
Fisher House
German American and International Women’s Club
Girl Scouts
Ramstein Health and Wellness Center
Hospitalized Veterans at Kleber Clinic
Honor Guard
Mission: Serving Our Wounded
Kaiserslautern High School
Kaiserslautern Crisis Pregnancy Center
Kaiserslautern Elementary School
Kaiserslautern Middle School
Key Spouse
Kindergraves Memorial Foundation
Kaiserslautern 5/6 Counsel
Kaiserslautern Schools Liaison Office
Landstuhl Elementary/Middle School
Landstuhl School Age Services
Landstuhl Youth Sports
Mom 2 Mom
Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS)
Outdoor Recreation
Postal Service Center
Ramstein Airman’s Attic
Ramstein Elementary School
Ramstein Enlisted Spouses’ Association (RESA)
Ramstein High School
Ramstein Intermediate School
Ramstein Middle School
Ramstein Officer’s Spouses’ Club (ROSC)
Ramstein Youth Sports
Sembach Enlisted Spouses Association (SESA)
Sembach Officer’s Spouses’ Association (SOSA)
Sembach Youth Programs
Veterans of Foreign Wars (POST 10614)

If interested in volunteering, call the A&FRC at 480-5100 or 06371-47-5100.