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1945 - Acton Hotel, est. 1890, burns down; arson is suspected [story]


The Good Long Road | Commentary by Jennifer Fischer
| Saturday, Jul 13, 2013

JenniferFischerLast week I shared my struggles with the letter “U” as part of the ABCs of the SCV. After some meandering and uncertainty (another “u”) over what to do, I settled on “Unsung Heroes” and asked who your unsung heroes were.

Many of you liked the piece, as evidenced by Facebook responses, but I didn’t get a lot of people piping up and sharing about an unsung hero in their world. Perhaps a public share of an unsung hero can make people worry that someone else who didn’t get mentioned would be upset. I also know that many people didn’t spend much time online last weekend, including myself, because of the extended holiday enjoyment.

One great response I received came from Stephen K. Peeples who, I learned, highlights a different “Unsung Hero” of the SCV twice a month on KHTS, the Hometown Station, in conjunction with Mercedes-Benz of Valencia. Most recently, he featured Eva Payne of Project Kindle. She founded and is the executive director of Project Kindle, which provides camping programs, year-round support and advocacy, recreational experiences and peer-based HIV/AIDS education for special-needs teens and young adults ages 12 to 24. You can read more about Project Kindle and all of the SCV Unsung Heroes on the KHTS website, hometownstation.com.

I also reached out to a local mom who is a mother of multiples (she has four – all the same age). She volunteers from time to time, although not as much as she did before she had her children. With four toddlers, I am impressed that she still volunteers now and then, and I completely consider her an unsung hero.

She preferred not to be featured, hence her anonymity here. However, she did share great insight about those who are unsung heroes – namely regular, devoted volunteers for nonprofits. She reminded me of the many Red Cross volunteers who are committed to responding to every disaster when there is need. That is the absolute definition of an unsung hero.

She reminded me of the importance of recognizing volunteers, and I know nonprofit organizations do their best to recognize and appreciate their volunteers, but it is important for us to do so, as well. If you are at a community event or nonprofit organization, take the time to thank the volunteers you see there (and the non-volunteers, too). Or, call a local nonprofit and ask if they need anything for their next volunteer appreciation event.

I have to give a warm “virtual hug” of appreciation to caregivers – mothers, fathers, grandparents or perhaps adult children or a loving companion taking care of an elderly or ailing parent or friend. As a mother, I realize how challenging it can be to be a caregiver –  how tiring and exhausting it can be, even though it is also an experience full of joy and love.

Take a moment today to show your appreciation and gratitude for a caregiver. Consider dropping off a box of wipes or diapers with a new mom – especially moms of multiples (babies or toddlers). Offer to come over to play with an older sibling for a mom and dad who’ve recently had a new baby. Put a Target or grocery store gift card in the mail with a note that acknowledges the value of taking care of another person. A small gesture can go a long way.

In celebration of all of the unsung heroes, of anyone and everyone who makes the extra effort to help others, and for all who give back to their community, I extend my sincere gratitude.

As always, you can find me over at The Good Long Road on Facebook. Pop over and say hi.

 

Jennifer Fischer is co-founder of the SCV Film Festival, a mom of two, an independent filmmaker and owner of Think Ten Media Group, whose Generation Arts division offers programs for SCV youth. She writes about her parenting journey on her blog, The Good Long Road. Her commentary is published Saturdays on SCVNews.com.

 

 

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