Monday, April 16, 2007

Nevada in the News

Please note that I don't plan to say more than this paragraph about the Virginia Tech massacre, not because I'm not horrified, but because there's nothing to say that isn't obvious. My prayers go out to everyone affected by this. May the dead -- all of them, including the shooter himself -- rest in peace, and may their friends and families find comfort.

On a much lighter but still distressing note, today's paper had a story on volunteerism noting that Nevada's dead last in the country in percentage of residents who volunteer. The statistics around here tend to be grim -- we recently had the honor of being declared the nation's most dangerous state -- but this one surprised me, just because I know so many people who volunteer.

Of course, when you volunteer yourself, you tend to know a lot of other people who volunteer.

I was heartened, though, to read that national volunteer rates among young people have been climbing.

When Gary and I discussed this, he pointed out brightly that in our household, the volunteer rate is 50% (if you don't count the cats). I pointed out that it's really higher than that; Gary's volunteered for various one-day events, and also regularly gives blood and donates his old clothing to various causes, including the hospital's extremely haphazard heap of clothing for indigent patients. I took a bag of his stuff over there just yesterday, and deposited it in the locked storage closet off the ambulance bay. That closet's a truly scary black hole of obscure garments in tottering piles, walkers, wheelchairs, and miscellaneous engineering equipment. It would make a great setting for a horror story.

If I were really a good volunteer, I'd get some people together to get that place organized and get the clothing sorted . . . but housekeeping's not my gift. I'm so much better at running around the ED, finding cute kids to whom I can give cute donated stuffed animals. We had two new bags of fluffy critters yesterday, and I was delighted. I even got an exceptionally plush stuffed lamb named after me.

But maybe I'll e-mail the volunteer coordinator and suggest that some brave souls should do something about that closet. I might even offer to help.

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