Every summer in Woodstock NY we take one Saturday to remember those who make our town our home. Whether they be volunteer firefighters or helpers at the local food pantry, we come together and appreciate that a community is a much more than a location – it’s a group of people who care about each other.
The local baseball field is transformed into a glorious outdoor room, with bands playing, food cooking and people mingling. This year is no exception. On Aug. 16, 2014 we will gather for the 10th annual event, amazed that kindness and appreciation are so deserving of being the core values of Volunteer Appreciation Day.
The amazing thing about this day is that both recipients of our volunteer efforts, as well as those who provide the services, gather together. From the folks who plan the annual Christmas Eve arrival of Santa Clause to those who protect our watershed, the volunteers are honored for the vast causes they support. And they are vast: Education, veterans, cleanups, international outreach, maintaining the cemetery – there are as many groups as there are interests. And of course, the musicians and artists who have been instrumental in keeping Woodstock as a thriving arts colony for decades will be on hand, celebrating and in some lucky cases, even playing for attendees.
A truly magical element of the day happens when the sun slips behind the mountains and the sky is suddenly lit up with an elaborate fireworks display. This show in the summer night sky is a beautiful reminder of what connects us in our small town in the Catskills.
All of us can appreciate the beauty as the colors burst overhead and we are reminded of the gentle simplicity of caring about each other, our neighbors and friends. And we can rest in the comfort of knowing, if needed, that there are volunteers who will answer a call and neighbors who care.