The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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July 5, 2011

Helping hands

BECKLEY — On Aug. 10, Beckleyan Anna Gray will receive the Governor’s Service Award from acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin for dedicating the last 23 years of her life to volunteering and service.

She says she was flabbergasted when told she had won. Volunteering is just something she has always done. She says she always figured it was a selfish thing because “you feel better after you have made someone else feel better.”

We salute Anna Gray on her award. And we also congratulate everyone who volunteers but may not always receive recognition for their good works.

We wish more people would be like Anna and that multitude of others who help make Beckley, Raleigh County and southern West Virginia a kinder, better place.

You don’t have to volunteer at as many places as Anna does — she’s active at Raleigh General Hospital, the Cynthia Bickey Art Gallery and Beckley Art Group, Youth Museum of Southern West Virginia, the West Virginia Humanities Council, West Virginia Public Broadcasting and the Beckley Concert Association, First Baptist Church and Senior Friends.

There are so many ways people can give of themselves. So many organizations that need the helping hands of volunteers. Surely we all could find one that suits our personalities and capabilities.

You can take that first step by calling organizations such as the United Way of Southern West Virginia (304-253-2111), which serves 30 agencies in five counties that always need good volunteers.

With the Boy Scouts coming to Fayette County, there will be plenty of volunteer work that can be done.

There are many opportunities. The Salvation Army, Mac’s Toy Fund, volunteer fire departments, youth sports organizations, schools, civic organizations and others that can use your help.

They are just waiting for you to call.

Do it — and maybe you will be the next Anna Gray!

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