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I begin this week by tipping my hat to Wolf Auto of Ogallala because of the many ways they have modeled volunteerism and community service this year. Wolf Auto was recently nominated for a Step Forward award by Serve Nebraska because of their excellent example in community service. Wolf Auto raised money for the Ogallala High School, the Relay for Life, the Backpack program, CASA, SCIP, Royal Camp, and the Rotary Club, as well as over 50K for five families who lost everything in the Lake McConaughy fire. They volunteered at the Car Seat Check-ups and at concerts, and they also sponsored drives for diapers, school supplies, clothing, and furniture. They even raised money for the Ogallala community by organizing their own car washes, garage sales, and silent auctions.
I would also like to thank all of the volunteers who make our lives easier and who make our communities better places to live. Among these are all of the volunteer firemen, first responders and others, who both protect and serve our communities. I would also like to thank the many other businesses in Western Nebraska who make significant contributions to our communities and who also deserve recognition for their charity work.
Now that the campaign season is finally over, we enter into a different kind of season, namely the season of giving. For many people November begins the season of charity work. While volunteerism ought to occur all year long, the holidays present us with some very unique opportunities for sharing both our time as well as our treasure. Therefore, before we enter into the holiday season I would like to encourage everyone living in Western Nebraska to seek out some way of giving back to their community this year.
One of the charity organizations I hold in high esteem for their beliefs, values, and integrity as well as for the work they do in the community is the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army was established in London back in 1865, but it has been operating in the USA since 1883. More than 23 million Americans receive assistance from the Salvation Army every year. Their services include food for the hungry, relief for disaster survivors, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and the ill, clothing and shelter for the homeless, and help for underprivileged children.
Please consider volunteering your time to the Salvation Army. Each year 25,000 volunteers across the country ring bells, solicit donations, and tend to thousands of red kettles for the Salvation Army. In Western Nebraska the Salvation Army has bell ringing programs in Alliance, Chadron, Holdrege, McCook, and Scottsbluff. To learn more about the Red Kettle Campaign or to register as a volunteer, please visit www.ringbells.org.
Let us brighten the holiday season this year for as many people as possible by remembering and acting upon the words of our Lord Jesus Christ as recorded in Acts 20:35, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”