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Monday, Sep. 22, 2014

Local volunteers deserve our praise

Sunday, October 14, 2007

As I sit here beginning to write today's column, I'm not certain how it will end. That may seem odd but, then again, consider the source.

Let me begin by commending all of those within our community who volunteer their time, their talents, their energies and their finances to benefit others. I have long held the belief that Sikeston is one of the more generous, giving communities in the state. If measured in financial commitment, I assure you I can make that case.

We have so many worthwhile projects under way here it would be difficult to name or explain each. Just for starters, Habitat for Humanity has done an amazing job of taking a dream and turning that dream into a reality. The volunteers who have worked tirelessly to nudge this project along deserve the praise of our entire community. Their efforts will do much more than change the life of just one family. Their efforts serve as a vivid and daily reminder of our commitment to help those in need. I can think of no more worthwhile goal.

The hundreds of volunteers who have now successfully completed the fundraising for the new YMCA are astounding. I quite frankly thought their goal was beyond the reach of our small community. They proved me wrong and I am so happy they did. Once completed, this facility will provide an unbelievable showcase for Sikeston that will serve as a source of pride for years to come. But when you realize that those who raised these funds are not the beneficiaries of this project, their efforts are even more amazing. These people devoted countless hours and resources to improve the services for others, not for themselves. That selfless commitment speaks volumes about our community.

The volunteers who are currently out and about promoting the upcoming Hospital Ball also deserve mention. This group of individuals biennually undertakes the monumental task of organizing a charity event that is financially successful beyond your imagination. And the proceeds from this entertaining evening benefit the medical community here. And the medical community in turn greatly benefits everyone including substantial numbers of those who cannot provide for themselves.

Volunteers with the Skateboard Park, the amazing renovation for our downtown community and others are also a major part of this volunteer fabric that is the pride of Sikeston. Before long, you'll start hearing about the annual Community Christmas Campaign and not far behind will be the annual Kenny Rogers Children's Center Telethon. And just next month the Rotary Club will sponsor their annual benefit auction. Truthfully, I have surely forgotten more than I have mentioned.

But now let me digress for just one final moment. In the newspaper business we are not unfamiliar with criticism. It simply goes with the territory. And we accept that aspect of this business. But we've received some comments lately concerning our lack of coverage for some of these worthwhile events. I want to briefly defend our coverage. Like any newspaper we want to cover all local issues as fully and as accurately as possible. Yet we too have our limitations. Each project honestly believes their efforts are the most important news in our community. And in their own way, they are correct. But a newspaper has a responsibility to report on as many aspects of a community as it possibly can. That takes time. And time is the one commodity that we cannot control.

We do the best we can with the resources available. If we don't give the coverage you believe we should, please call our hand. Just keep in mind that all of these projects and countless others are equally important.



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Michael Jensen
Michael Jensen