a chance to give back

July 9, 2012 at 6:37 am 2 comments

you don’t have to go to faraway places to make a difference. volunteering in your local community can be equally rewarding. after all, charity begins at home.

i live in a sleepy town somewhere in the san francisco bay area. it’s referred to as a bedroom community. in other words, it’s a place where people live and go to sleep and work somewhere else.

on the surface, it may appear that the residents here don’t feel connected to the place. but they do. you could see it when an event such as the annual run to the lake in support of the local hospital’s trauma center is held. they come to volunteer their time, to participate in the race, or simply to watch and encourage the participants.

this year’s run to the lake occurred yesterday. it was to pay tribute to the old eden hospital building that has been a feature of the town’s landscape since 1954. it has served the community well. but sadly, it has run its course a few years ago when management decided that the mandated earthquake retrofit and seismic upgrades were no longer cost-effective. it’s scheduled to be torn down and replaced by a new state-of-the-art building by the end of the year.

as in the previous years, i served as a race course monitor. it was an easy decision on my part. to paraphrase h. l. mencken, those who can — run. those who can’t – monitor.

there were four events: the 5k walk, the 5k run, the 10k run, and the 50-yard dash for kids aged 3-8. i was one of the volunteers assigned to monitor the 5k and 10k races that started in front of the hospital and continued to the main road leading to lake chabot park and back. everything went smoothly including traffic rerouting with the assistance of the local police.

it was an ideal day to race with cloudy skies and spring-like weather in the 60s. yes sir, it was free from the unrelenting heat wave that currently bake half of the u.s. it might be one reason why many more were encouraged to sign up this time around compared to last year. it became a total family affair with both young and old alike participating including babies in their strollers. it was also great to see doctors and nurses out of their standard uniforms. stripped down to their running shorts, they looked more human and normal to me. whoa! i didn’t realize my former doctor has skinny legs.

after the race, everybody enjoyed the health expo set up at the hospital’s parking lot. it featured music, giveaways, refreshments, health information, free health screenings, and an expired medication and mercury thermometer drop-off station.

i’ll definitely be back again next year and volunteer my services. it’s more than a way of giving back. it brings out the pride in me. it makes me feel wanted and belong to the community.

Entry filed under: Blogroll, commentary, humor. Tags: , , , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. terry  |  July 9, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    Kudos to the organizers for an outstanding event.

    • 2. plaridel  |  July 10, 2012 at 8:27 am


      i’m with you. they did an excellent job.


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