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Library wants to help you give back

Hedden said being right at the scene of a catastrophe is eye-opening and what keeps him coming back to help even more.

"Every fire is different, most are very emotional and we try to calm the homeowners down and reassure them that everything will be alright. It seems like the end of the world at the time, but everyone comes back from it and as long as they wren't hurt, that's the main thing"everything else can be replaced but lives can't," said Hedden.

While emotionally draining at times, Hedden said it's rewarding to know you're helping someone in their time of greatest need.

Finding more people willing to lend help and support is why Ann Cocca, organizer of the event, came up with the idea. She said the library hopes to target people of all ages looking for a reason and way to volunteer.

"We have a number of people come into the library that are newly retired and say they're not sure what to do with their time. We also receive a lot of requests from students who want to help out at the library or need community service hours for clubs at school or scout troops. We can accommodate some of them but not all, so this has been sort of percolating for awhile," said Cocca. "I thought this would be the perfect venue to bring those two parties together."

With nearly all facets of society feeling the effects of a downturned economy, non-profit organizations are particularly hard hit with slower funds or declining volunteers. Meals on Wheels is a national organization that provides meals to low income seniors, many times run through a community's local Office of the Aging. Michael Flynn, communications director for Meals on Wheels Association of America said volunteerism has noticeably declined in recent years, especially since many are seniors themselves.

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