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Presentation to Governor Maggie Hassan

Submitted by SandyAmlaw
on Tue, 10/27/2015 - 17:44

Pictured from left to right are Dick O'Shaughnessy, Governor Hassan, Sandy Amlaw, Kay Galloway, and Connie George

On August 12, 2015 members of the New Hampshire Retired Teacher Association presented Governor Maggie Hassan with a symbolic check representing 26,854 volunteer hours by the members. The total of the check was $619,521.78. The presenters spent a half hour with Governor Hassan discussing the many ways that our members volunteer in the community as well as the need for a COLA, which they have not received for over 7 years.



We have all been called to serve our fellow man. Our nation began with volunteers who served one another in a battle for freedom. Our elected officials serve the public in a highly visible capacity and hopefully do the job that they were elected to do with honesty, integrity and compassion for the persons they represent. Decisions and the passage of laws can be difficult as our leaders sort through the jargon and vote for the services and laws that they feel are best for the majority of the people.

Each of us serves in a different way, choosing the organization that fits with our beliefs. Some of us serve invisibly, volunteering in basements, at home, quietly folding letters and stuffing envelopes, walking abandoned dogs, preparing meals in a soup kitchen, reading to children in hospitals, driving ill people to medical appointments. Others may be in the forefront as organizers, recognized in the news for their work. It is not specifically what you do that matters but the fact that you are making a difference in the life of another person or program by your volunteerism.

Our schools, churches, and organizations such as Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts of America, Kiwanis Club, all expect that the members will choose a service project. Resumes for jobs ask for your volunteer activities. Why? Because serving the less fortunate, the sick, those suffering from temporary job loss or a disaster, is not only the just, humane solution, but it also creates a new group of servers. Those who have been assisted by servers come back to join and serve because they have been directly affected. Similarly, those who have watched their parents serve others, model that behavior. Society would be in worse shape if citizens helped themselves, and were helped by others, but never gave back in return. Companies and organizations want people who reach out to others, people who give and receive.

If you have never been in the trenches doing the physical work, I would suggest giving it a try. You could be that person who steps up and volunteers, setting the example for another friend to join with you. The NH Retired Educators Association needs your service, your volunteer time, to file paperwork, help with mailings, and encourage new retirees to join, share your ideas for the organization, or chair a committee.

A song we all remember by Simon and Garfunkle says; “I am a rock, I am an island … and a rock feels no pain ... and an island never cries.” But we are not rocks or islands. We are people, senators, mothers, fathers, children, friends, neighbors, clergy, doctors, teachers and on and on. We do feel the pain and we do cry. We need people to nurture us, and we are called to serve those around us.  NHREA needs us, too. Become a volunteer for the NHREA and experience the joy of volunteerism while you help yourself and your fellow retirees.

By Maureen Chamberlain- rewritten for NHREA