Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Columns

May 18, 2014

FAITH BRAUTIGAM: Investments of time pay dividends in lives of others

Thanks those who help our community an hour at a time

In May, it’s hard not to run across stories of people who have made a difference in the lives of others. Newspaper columns, TV ads and Facebook posts laud mothers who made sacrifices, great and small. Graduates tell about the incremental steps along the way that brought them to the figurative finish line and the people who were there at those critical junctures. Parents of graduates have their own list of those to thank. While November may be the No. 1 month for sheer gratefulness, May’s tales tend to focus on the dividends of people investing in other people.

Organizationally, the library is in that very same mode. May is the time when we recognize the volunteers who share the very best gift of all — themselves — with the library throughout the year. As we took time to thank our volunteers this year, I realized anew the enormous value they provide for the community through the library.

There are whole library services that, without volunteers, would literally cease to exist. Others would become only a shadow of their current selves. Our Homebound program comes to mind first. Those who, either temporarily or permanently, find it challenging to get to the library to use our materials can sign up to have items delivered to their residences. The delivery isn’t just one-size-fits-all, either. Each person’s “order” is tailor-made, based on preferences of all shapes and sizes for both content and format. In some cases, we even take care not to bring items that an avid reader has already read. In a scenario without volunteers, our staffing simply would not stretch to cover the 50-plus personalized stops per month that we now make.

In other cases, volunteers bring skills, materials and interests that our own staff simply do not have. It might come as a complete surprise to you, but the 501st Legion volunteers who were a fabulous part of our “Stars Wars” Day own costumes and gear that just isn’t in my closet. Our Paws to Read program relies on people who have certified therapy animals and the time to share them with emerging readers. Anyone who delivers books to the Howard County jail must be male, which eliminates most of our staff and makes our jail volunteers worth their weight in gold. Our Community Advisory Council has the ability to look at library questions, plans or most recently our signage with fresh eyes. They don’t know library jargon, the history of why a decision was made, or any of the other reasons why things can’t be different; the comments they give us are gifts.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • DAVE BANGERT: Indiana's new chief justice and court's 'mom question' Two years ago, as Loretta Rush ascended from Tippecanoe Superior Court 3 judge to the state’s Supreme Court, I dropped this line in a column celebrating someone who had earned her place.“Across the state, the headline will be: ‘[Mitch] Daniels Choose

    August 14, 2014

  • JEFFREY McCALL: POTUS promises of transparency fail to materialize The United States system of government relies on citizens having full access to information that can be used in self-governance. Journalists and other First Amendment advocates were enthused when the Obama administration came into office with convinc

    August 14, 2014

  • Rob Burgess House of Burgess: RIP Robin Williams

    I was re-watching the 2006 movie “Little Miss Sunshine” Monday when I heard my phone buzz. After the credits had rolled, I looked at the screen and found myself shocked.It was a news alert that Robin Williams had died that morning at the age of 63 of an apparent suicide.

    August 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • ANDREA NEAL: 'Paddle Your Own Canoe' is a Hoosier inspiration

    Editor’s note: This is one in a series of essays leading up to the celebration of the Indiana Bicentennial in December 2016. James Whitcomb Riley was the most acclaimed, but he wasn’t the first Hoosier poet to gain national fame. Sarah T. Bolton dese

    August 13, 2014

  • DAVE BANGERT: Rokita, illegal immigration, Ebola outbreak and context At first listen last Monday, there was something so unsavory about our congressman, Todd Rokita, whipping up two full-fledged crises — Central American children at the U.S. southern border and the African scourge of Ebola — into one pungent sound bit

    August 12, 2014

  • DAN COATS: Let's give nonprofits relief from IRS delays A flurry of scandal has recently surrounded the Internal Revenue Service.Over the past few months, we have learned about missing emails from IRS employees and revelations of clear bias and hostility by a top IRS official towards organizations with ce

    August 12, 2014

  • BRIAN HOWEY: Pitchforks and pikes in our summer of discontent Congress is ... embarrassing. Our political system is failing us. On an individual basis, many of us have respect for members of our delegation. We can have a common sense conversation with a senator, congressman or congresswoman, and then they go ba

    August 11, 2014

  • DICK WOLFSIE: Enough reminders to forget It began with a simple phone call to my friend, Auri, a computer geek I asked to help me with my very successful website, which right now is attracting up to three visitors a month. To have a strong online presence, you have to spend several hours a

    August 11, 2014

  • ED VASICEK: Outsourced jobs, health crises in foreign lands The other week, my Internet was giving me trouble. I called the support number, and — to my surprise — I spoke to a representative who sounded as American as apple pie. It turned out the technical problem was an oversight on my end and fixed quickly.

    August 10, 2014

  • MICHAEL HICKS: Dodging corporate taxes Corporations are among our oldest institutions. Something like a joint stock company probably triggered the earliest formal written communication — the accounting ledger. It should be unsurprising that the early traders of Mesopotamia used a corporat

    August 10, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Furry Roommates: Dorms Allowing Cats and Dogs Chase Rice Defends Bro-Country 'Jersey Shore Massacre' Pokes Fun at MTV Series Raw: Wash. Mudslides Close Roads, Trap Motorists DC's Godfather of Go-Go Honored Ukraine Calls Russian Convoy a 'direct Invasion' Girl Meets Her 'one in the World' Match Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks Japan Landslide Rescuers Struggle in Heavy Rain Raw: Severe Floods, Fire Wrecks Indiana Homes Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future Raw: Russian Aid Convoy Arrives in Ukraine Okla. Policeman Accused of Sex Assaults on Duty Dominican Republic Bans Miley Cyrus Concert Raw: Israeli Air Strike in Gaza Raw: Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in Malaysia Attorney: Utah Eatery Had Other Chemical Burn
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller