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Morgan Hill
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October 16, 2021

Volunteer – you’ll be glad you did

The Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce historically has had its ups
and downs. Lately it has been mostly up. Saturday
’s Showcase Dinner, where the Chamber highlights people and
businesses for major and important volunteering and community
service, was definitely an “up”.
The Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce historically has had its ups and downs. Lately it has been mostly up.

Saturday’s Showcase Dinner, where the Chamber highlights people and businesses for major and important volunteering and community service, was definitely an “up”.

Attended by more than 200 ‘Morgan Hillites’ – Chamber members, past award winners, friends and family of the winners, politicians and regular citizens – the evening was an affair to remember.

Man and Woman of the Year, John Quick and Margaret Johnston, were applauded for their work with wild animal rescue and flowers, respectively. Both are necessary to a civilized society.

Large and Small Business of the Year were Anritsu and BookSmart, both hugely involved in supporting community events with people-power and money (Anritsu) and inventing creative ways to entertain and engage the community in improving the downtown (BookSmart).

Teacher and Student of the Year were Anna Friebel, Britton math teacher, who is quite firm with her students and – surprisingly enough – is loved and respected by all, and Jennifer Moody, Live Oak High School student, representative to the school board and saxophonist extraordinaire.

And Garrie Bryant, the Chamber’s Volunteer of the Year, never, ever says “no” to a request for help.

We in Morgan Hill are so fortunate to share our community with these people. They are fine examples of “giving back”.

Best of all, every year the Chamber seems to find another group of seven people and businesses who are equally outstanding. But while the need for volunteers will never cease, the source won’t last forever.

Think about putting your shoulder to the wheel and helping some worthy organization out. You never know. Your name may end up in lights as a future Showcase Award winner. And even if not, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve made a difference and given something back to our community.

Many volunteer jobs are one-offs or would take little time from a busy life. Many jobs can be done in groups – the perfect way for families to spend useful time together.

Here’s how – it’s easy: First of all, choose something that you are interested in that needs help. Then call them up and see what they need that fits your schedule, skills and interest. You will be glad you did. Not only will you get a warm, fuzzy feeling for having helped but you are guaranteed to meet some pretty neat people. Volunteer. It’s the American way.

Here are some possible outlets for your community spirit:

• The Chamber of Commerce, 779-9444

• City of Morgan Hill: Karen Lengsfield, volunteer coordinator, 779-7271.

• IDI (Independence Day, Inc.) will need hordes of volunteers for the upcoming July 3-4th celebration. www.mhidi.com or 779-3387 as the day nears.

• MH Historical Society can always use docents at the museum and Villa Mira Monte (the old Morgan Hill House) and, for those with green thumbs, historic rose bushes are available for adoption – and care – instruction provided. The second Saturday of every month is a designated “work day” at VMM where willing worker help with light clean up of the grounds. Soon-to-be-up-and-running website: www.morganhillhistoricalsociety.com or 779-5755.

• Kiwanis decorates downtown for the Christmas holidays and organizes the Holiday Lights parade. Barbara 776-7818.

• And: Toys for Tots, churches, schools, Scouts, service organizations, El Toro Youth Center, the YMCA and sports groups are just the beginning of a very long list. Look around. Find something that needs doing and do it.

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