First lady volunteering for a great cause |

First lady volunteering for a great cause

A report earlier this year ranking Nevada dead last in volunteerism surprised many people locally who would have guessed we would have been near the top of the list.

That study was most likely heavily weighted by Las Vegas, and possibly a lack of good tracking. But the bottom line is that even in Northern Nevada, which has thousands of selfless volunteers, we need more.

That’s why we believe First Lady Dawn Gibbons has chosen the perfect issue to champion. Gibbons is honorary chairwoman of Nevada Volunteers, formerly known as the AmeriCorps program.

Volunteers will become even more important in Nevada if, as expected, funding becomes even more scarce for agencies and groups that provide social services. Volunteerism builds strong communities. It helps people in need and those who volunteer often get others involved, who themselves quickly discover there is something invigorating about giving something back.

And it’s simple. Volunteering can be as easy as offering a few hours each week at your children’s school or visiting with seniors in their homes. People interested in volunteering can begin by reading the list of group and service organization meetings that appear every Sunday in the Personal Appeal section of this newspaper. Many need help.

Soon, a Web site,, will also serve as a resource.

For the good of everyone, we wish the First Lady success. But it won’t come easy … as the pace of our society quickens and it becomes harder to make ends meet, families are left with less and less free time and the list of those in need continues to grow. But any progress she can make will serve as a great legacy.