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From the Publisher

From the NFH Team

Spring is here and in Colorado that means snow, sun, rain, warm days and cold days ñ something for everyone. April is also community service month.According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of September 2009, 63.4 million, or a whopping 26.8 percent of the population, volunteered at least once for an organization during the prior 12-month period.We see volunteers in many places, from schools to hospitals to voting precincts to animal shelters to natural disaster sites, and sometimes their presence is not so obvious. They run the gamut in age, from children to seniors. They come from all walks of life, skills and education levels – from clerks to engineers to presidents.It’s no wonder. Volunteering comes with many fringe benefits, such as a longer lifespan, less depression, stronger connections with others, a sense of pride and satisfaction, as well as strengthening the community in which we live, to name a few.Volunteerism isn’t just the latest trend in the United States. Certainly, our last several presidents have encouraged citizens to serve others to help make the country stronger. Historians have documented the helping spirit that came along with settling in the new land, from the early colonial days to the pioneers, as they moved across the West. There was no such thing as hiring someone in town to build the barn. The neighbors helped. They also helped with farming the land, getting through difficult diseases and anything else that needed to be done in the community.In Natalie Gowen’s story about the D 49 budget cuts, it’s clear that schools will need volunteers more than ever. They have small and large, short- and long-term opportunities.Libraries, hospitals, blood banks, food banks and homeless shelters also need volunteers. Volunteer choices abound.If you know a volunteer, thank them for their service this month. Have a great spring, and we’ll see you in May.Deb, Michelle and the NFH Team

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