Community Service Report


Dennis Orhtman, State Community Service Chair
Volunteer projects being carried out by our units are outstanding and so innovative!  Keep up the good work!

When I was a kid, every other kid and I in a town of 92 people (Jolley, IA) played kick-the-can until dark stole the can.  Then some one told me it wasn’t good to kick the can, and even worse to kick the bucket.  Now, putting the tin can in the recycling is an effort that seems to be taxing.  Well, we have all had to “kick-the-can” down the road during COVID.
With some pride, in retirement we have saved our quarters in a tin can on the back edge of the kitchen counter so we could remain generous.  We understand that we are lucky and that we planned so that we could share in retirement.  So we have been giving in dozens of ways with our money and our time.
Some of our volunteer places hung out a sign that kept us out:  “VOLUNTEERING--NO CAN DO”—we haven’t been able to volunteer.  Most of us thought it was probably pretty smart just to stay home, open our cans from the pantry, and hide from the illusive virus—we just have not thought it wise to volunteer in the same way we used to do.  So, we have spent endless hours kicking the empty cans around the kitchen floor to entertain our spouses and the animals, before tossing the can.  Most of us had to open a can of soup instead of eating out with our fellow retired educators.
We will be back out meeting and volunteering when we can. 
Some of you have been closet volunteers, doing things behind the scenes when no one is watching.  I know that I sneak into the back room of the museum with my can of SPAM and cheese to do books.
We do plan to ask you if you have been volunteering, to share a good guess at the hours each month for the past two years, and we will also ask you to anonymously share the amounts of cash or checks from the cans you have shared in your community or with a national charity.  Your community service chairs will be asking you soon, so think hard.  Share the information generously.
We have not kicked the bucket and most of us cannot do a rollicking version of a can-can.  We will, however, be out there soon with intentional shots in our arms.  We will be glad when we can do it again—we all love playing, volunteering, and sharing.