Column: Volunteering to improve communities

Volunteering to improve communities
By Sen. Joe Hune

With countless individuals and organizations giving their time and talents to improve the lives of others, Michigan is rich with a culture of volunteerism.  

I’d like to bring your attention to the myriad volunteer opportunities afforded to Michiganders. Many Michigan residents volunteer their time and effort to improve the lives of their friends, families, churches and other community organizations.

Last week the Michigan Civil Service Commission sent me a form to nominate an individual from my district for the 2013 Governor’s Service Award, an award distributed to the individual that has provided a significant contribution to their community through service and volunteerism.

Governor’s Service Awards nominee finalists will be honored this summer at an exciting recognition celebration.

However, awards shouldn’t be the incentive for volunteering one’s time and effort. Volunteerism not only helps individuals in need and organizations that support the community, it also instills a sense of confidence, work ethic and accomplishment in the volunteer. Lessons like this can’t be taught in a classroom.

So take a minute this spring and ask members of your local community about any opportunities to improve our great communities throughout Michigan. Furthermore, ask yourself: “What can I do to better my family, neighbors and community?” I think you might find the answer to be more fulfilling than any paycheck.

Further information on volunteer opportunities can be found at


Sen. Joe Hune is chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee. He represents the 22nd state Senate District, which includes Livingston and Shiawassee counties, and the southern part of Ingham County. The Ingham County portion includes Bunkerhill, Leslie, Stockbridge and Vevay townships, and the cities of Leslie and Mason.