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The week of April 7 through 13 is National Volunteers Week. This year marks the 45th anniversary of this special week. According to the Points of Light Foundation, approximately 20 million Americans contributed their time, which is worth about $482 million. Westbrook joins all of the communities across the country in celebrating this week.
Our municipal government could not function without our volunteers. There are well over 350 individual volunteers, elected or appointed, who spend countless hours annually to make recommendations to ensure that Westbrook’s best interests are enhanced.
Our volunteers are the backbone of our community governance and contribute time, often away from their families. Consider for example our Fire Department; more than 70 volunteers are committed to being available 24/7. Only the chief and the deputy chiefs receive a very modest stipend. Our scouting programs are coordinated by volunteers as are many, many community and civic groups who work every day to make Westbrook a safe, healthy, and vibrant community. It should also be noted that our business community, our library, and school system collectively contribute in ways beyond measure.
It has been documented that every volunteer hour is worth at least $32. Do the numbers and you will readily discern the economic impact of our volunteers.
I salute each and every volunteer who continue to make this community so vital for all of us whose lives and livelihood are sustained by your efforts. To quote Winston Churchill, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
First Selectman Noel Bishop
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