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National service strengthens Barton County
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Dear Editor,
You don’t hear their stories on the nightly news, but every day, RSVP Senior Corp volunteers head out, quietly and without fanfare, to improve lives and strengthen communities.
As Director of Volunteers In Action and RSVP, I am grateful for the dedication and sacrifice of these citizens, who are helping make our county stronger, safer, and healthier. I have seen their impact first-hand, and know that national service is a cost-effective strategy to meet critical community needs.
That’s why I am pleased to join county officials and mayors across the country today in the Mayor and County Recognition Day for National Service. We are taking time to recognize the impact of national service and thank those who serve.  
Given the many social needs facing our communities – and the fiscal constraints facing government at all levels – local leaders are increasingly turning to national service and volunteerism to help meet local needs. We know that engaging citizens is a smart strategy to make progress on local challenges.  
A key partner in our efforts is the Corporation for National and Service, a federal agency that oversees Senior Corps, and other programs that engage millions of Americans in service each year. This agency works hand-in-hand with counties, cities, nonprofits, and other local partners to support high-impact national service at more than 50,000 locations across the country.
Here in Great Bend and Barton County more than 458 volunteers help with Meals On Wheels, Medical Transportation, Blood Drives, Taxes, Medicare Counseling and Tutoring. They serve at schools, hospitals, food banks, non-profit organizations, city and county levels. They are board members, committee members and fundraisers.  
National service shows the best of the American spirit – people turning toward problems instead of away, working together to find community solutions.  Strengthening that spirit is one of RSVP’s goals.  Today, as we thank national service members for their commitment, let us all pledge to do our part to strengthen Barton County through service and volunteering.
Linn Hogg
Director Volunteers In Action/RSVP, Great Bend