Three kinds of volunteers make it happen

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 12, 2004

Dear Editor.

There are 3 kinds of volunteers or people that go beyond what they normally do in life.

If it weren’t for volunteers in Demopolis half of the “stuff” would not get done.

1.People that volunteer for the benefit of the personal good feeling they get for knowing they were a part of something.

2.People that volunteer and want lots of recognition and pats on the back.

3.People that volunteer and don’t wont recognition just the good feeling for their part in something.

I am number #1 and #3.

Over a year ago Paula Canterbury an employee at City Hall, Jonathan McElvy with the Demopolis Times and I got up at 5:00 a.m. and delivered coffee, biscuits and cookies to the 167th Engineering Co of our local National Guard as part of their deployment ceremony.

We surely did this for the good feeling of support for our troops and received a lot of thank yous.

In June of this year the Army National Guard met with Mayor Caldwell and I to ask for our assistance with their Freedom Salute Campaign, which will honor the local Americans heroes who have served their nation in the cause of freedom.

A wonderful article was printed in the Demopolis Times in the June 17th issue.

Since I am #1 and #3 above I accepted the Guards request to assist them with the August 8th ceremony at the Civic Center.

I met with the unit several times to plan the event.

The week of the event I contacted Johnny Brooker volunteer #3 with our Parks and Rec and asked him would he display the American Flag along 43 south around the Guard building, along Hwy 80 and at the Civic Center.

Johnny and Terry Sprinkle, as always assisted me and had the flags erected on Friday before the event.

The flags were put up for my own personal respect and gratefulness to the soldiers.

When I met with the guard on Friday afternoon at the Civic Center to go over last minute details, the first question out of one soldier’s mouth was “Were those flags put up for us?”

I said yes and they all thanked me for having this done and were very touched.

At 6:00 a.m. on Sunday I arrived at the Civic Center to start the process of my assignments and to check the arrangement of over 300 chairs.

The Civic Center Custodians set up the chairs exactly as the guard had requested and they did a wonderful job of arranging that many chairs.

At 7:00 a.m. I arrived at Maison De Briques and Food World to pick up their donated yellow carnations that were to be given to the spouse of the soldiers.

Simply Southern in Linden and also Kelly Smith with the Chamber of Commerce also donated yellow carnations.

At 7:30 a.m. I arrived back at the Civic Center and started the task of unpacking over 400 items from boxes each enclosed with packing material.

These items were to be presented to each soldier and their spouse.

What a job that was.

Within about an hour the Calvary arrived to assist me.

Well that was good but one individual with the guard that had not been involved with the planning process decided he did not like the arrangements of the chairs.

Needless to say we all rearranged the chairs to his satisfaction.

Kelly Smith with the Chamber volunteered her time to hand out the programs and yellow carnations prior to the ceremony and I was very appreciative for her help. The ceremony started on time and was well organized.

With no knowledge of the specifics of the program Mayor Caldwell and I was called to the stage and presented a beautiful framed print of the American Flag.

We were very honored.

Then to my surprise I was presented with a special ribboned medallion representing me as a center of influence.

What a wonderful feeling that was.

In closing I would like to say that I am volunteer # 3 and did not feel that I should have been singled out for what I had done but I am so proud that someone took the time to thank me and the City of Demopolis in such a special way.

The real thanks goes to our soldiers and families.

And because of my volunteering to help coordinate the Demopolis ceremony and a job well done according to the soldiers, I was asked to coordinate the next three Freedom Salute Campaigns planned around the State.

Yes, I again agreed to assist.

Thanks again to all armed forces serving in and around the world. Our prayers are with you and your families.

Vickie Taylor, City Clerk

City of Demopolis