April is National Volunteerism Month. It’s a great time to consider donating time to a worthy cause in your community.
According to Corporation for National and Community Service, Americans volunteered 7.9 billion hours in 2012, with donated time valued at $171 billion. That’s an effect that lasts much longer than writing a check.
Many join the fight against a disease that has affected a family member or close friend. Others give back to honor the memory of a loved one. These are just a few of the reasons people make the decision to volunteer, and there are many local opportunities.
Register for a charity walk and enjoy the outdoors with friends while raising awareness about an illness. Share your love of animals through a pet therapy program. Become a hospice volunteer companion to terminally ill patients, and provide a much-needed break for caregivers.
Volunteering provides many benefits to physical and mental health — from boosting self-confidence to reducing the risk of depression. For students, it’s a great way to gain meaningful experience while learning valuable job skills. If you are volunteering in a loved one’s memory, you’ll find support in others who have experienced a similar loss.
Consider donating time to one of the many deserving organizations in your area. It’s a wonderful way to get involved in your community or celebrate the life of someone special.
KRISTEN COPES, VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR, CROSSROADS HOSPICE
Let dedicated teachers supplant the imposters
Thanks to the AJC’s unrelenting research regarding the APS cheating scandal, this alleged mob-like conspiracy, disguised in lies and cover-ups, has come to an end. This scandal disturbs me as I dedicate myself to a new career as a teacher.
For those who went along with this disgusting charade: You should be ashamed of yourselves. I sincerely hope there is a “Plan B” for the children harmed by this sad event. Their education has been wrongfully delayed and unnecessarily interrupted.
Let’s make room for new teachers, who are waiting to inspire and lead with honesty and integrity. It is time to flush out the imposters. For too long, they tried to fool the system. In the end, they failed to play the role of teacher, administrator and superintendent.
Their time is up, school is out and their pink slip is waiting.
M. BUTERA-FISHER, SUGAR HILL
Cartoonist excels at lampooning stupidity
Over the last year or so, I have been puzzled with the AJC’s choice of a mediocre political cartoonist (Michael Ramirez) to represent the conservative viewpoint. Then, I realized the AJC’s cunning strategy: These obviously inferior cartoons highlight the brilliance of Mike Luckovich as he consistently captures the essence of local and national political stupidity in caricatures that are informative and funny.