Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Celebrating Volunteers

Let's talk about Volunteers in the Garden first!  Have you had your share of plants that come up wherever they want and you have no idea where they come from?  Well, these are my latest volunteers in a previously abandoned pot:
I had marigolds and coleus planted in this pot that didn’t make it thru the winter.  I had pulled them out and it was totally empty of plants, with only the dirt remaining.  Then this spring, the purple flowering plants (maybe Mexican petunias?) started to come up all on their own.  I wasn’t too surprised about them since I have them lining my walkway and I know they tend to re-seed everywhere they can (nice little opportunists that they are).  But then the gorgeous Elephant Ears came up … and I have no idea from whence they sprang, so to speak.  Then this very odd minaret shaped bulb came up.  I’ve never seen this before – but I found out on the web that it is the flower of the elephant ears - sort of looks like a peace lily flower now that it's open – way cool.  Volunteers always do more than you expect!

Which brings me to the real subject of the day – human volunteers!  Did you know that in a single recent year 8.1 billion (that’s – Billion, with a B) hours were volunteered in the USA with an estimated value to the nation of $173 billion.

In this struggling economy, the country cannot do without its many volunteers.  A heartfelt thank-you goes out to you, whether you:
ü        Work with youth - serving in schools as tutors/teachers or by mentoring
ü        Work to meet the needs of your community – collecting/distributing/serving food
ü        Work to provide sweat labor – via labor or transportation

I'd encourage you to pick what you have an interest in and find a group of like-minds or just follow your heart and volunteer somewhere.  I have friends that participate in the following:
§          walk to raise funds for cancer research,
§          collect food for rescued pets,
§          help with beach cleanups,
§          rescue animals of all kinds,
§          work as servers in soup kitchens,
§          provide sweat labor to construct houses,
§          make quilts for children in need,
§          and a myriad of other types of activities.
My neighbor's sign - he fosters rescued Greyhounds
Personally, I don’t have many talents, but I found a passion for quilting for children’s charities.  I recently received the most wonderful gifts that will allow me to continue making these quilts for a very long time.  I was thrilled!  There will be many more posts about these gifts.  Here’s a hint:
Adorable fabric I found at Crafty Threads and a new pattern
And here’s my most recent finish.  This top polishes off a lot of my 30s reproduction fabrics.  I hope to get it quilted up and in the box this week.
Quote of the Day:
A bit of fragrance always clings to the hand that gives the rose.
   ~ Old Chinese Proverb

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