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Sue's Views: Giving our time

You know what is the best part about living in a small town? Two things. First, there's always something to do. Really. And second, you don't have to be an expert to get involved with something.

For instance, this weekend I'll be doing announcing for the True Team section meet for girls' swimming and diving. As part of that, I'll be announcing to the judges what dives the athletes will be completing. This will be my first time announcing diving. Truth be told, for every other meet I've been at, I either have left during the diving competition or haven't paid attention. But this year, my daughter is involved in this meet and I feel obligated to help out. The coach decided which of the variety of jobs I was best suited for. I had secretly hoped to work in the concession stand, but I said I'd do whatever was needed.

As you might know, microphones don't scare me. I've already had my most embarrassing moments on air several times over, so there should be nothing that is hard about this. Or so I thought.

I was the announcer for my very first varsity meet last week and couldn't read the diving sheets. Here's what I saw: 305C R 2.5 S P D.D 2.5. I have read computer code that made more sense. What exactly does this say? This was a reverse two and-a-half somersaults in the pike position, degree of difficulty 2.5. I think.

Here's the amazing part. There were people next to me at the table calculating diving scores by hand. You know, math in their head without the aid of calculators. And it took them less time to multiply the three judges' scores by the degree of difficulty than it did for me to read the dive out loud.

So why I am sharing this? Because if I can spend my Saturday reading code out loud in front of 200 swimmers, their coaches and fans, there's no reason the rest of you can't get involved in something new as well.

Our community depends on volunteers. We have volunteer fire fighters, first responders and members of the sheriff's posse. We have fulltime working people who call and ask what time you'd like for an appointment at the bloodmobile. We have businesspeople who are volunteer mentors for high school students doing job exploration. We have church basement ladies who make sure no funeral is held without hot food and delicious bars. We've had a group of volunteers build almost an entire house in less than a week, clean pounds of seeds from prairie plants and ride bike long past their usual lung capacity with elementary students.

The list of volunteer opportunities is never-ending. The list of volunteers isn't nearly as long.

So you say you don't know who needs volunteers. There's good news. Resource Connections of Stevens County has a list of non-profits looking for you.

Can you answer a phone? Make a phone call? Can you read out loud, which is really one of my only marketable skills?

Then you can volunteer.

Check out the possibilities at

The deal is even better right now. The group is giving away an iPad just for going to their web site and registering. There are no stings, there will be no phone calls trying to sell you a time-share after you leave your contact information.

But there is a list of organizations waiting for someone like you to say you have time and talent to share.

Trust me, the talent part is in the eye of the beholder. Just sign up. In today's fast-paced world, the one truly precious gift we can give is our time. No matter if you only have a little time to give, it still helps.

And there really is no better way to get know your community and become someone who counts.